NEW YORK U.S. bulk ferrous scrap export prices have dropped significantly as exporters accepted lower bids to secure sales this past week.
At least four bulk cargoes were sold to Turkey and single cargoes were sold to China and South Korea, and tags dropped more off the West Coast than off the East Coast, according to several market participants.
Turkey, the largest buyer of U.S. ferrous scrap, booked one cargo from a port in Florida, one from a Mid-Atlantic port and one from Puerto Rico, sources said. The three sales followed a Gulf Coast sale April 24 (amm.com, April 25) which market participants had said would set $375 per tonne ex-East Coast as a price level for negotiations.
The mixed cargo from Florida was sold at an average price of $376.50 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey for 15,000 tonnes of a 90/10 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt and 25,000 tonnes of shred, according to sources, while a cargo sold off a Mid-Atlantic port went for $375 per tonne for 30,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) and $380 per tonne for 12,000 tonnes of shred.
Meanwhile, a third exporter sold a smaller cargo of 9,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (90:10) and 7,000 tonnes of shred for an average price of $376 per tonne out of Puerto Rico.
Due to variations in freight costs, it appears that East Coast HMS 1&2 (80:20) prices have slipped to just slightly under $375 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey.
AMMs East Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled April 29 at $347.23 per tonne f.o.b. New York, down 4 percent from $361.63 a week earlier. Freight estimates were in a range of $26 to $29 per tonne for vessels booked along the East and Gulf coasts, according to some sources.
One exporter said it appears that $375 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey for HMS 1&2 (80:20) ex-East Coast is the new price level. "(There) should be more buying now as there is some margin for the mills at this level," he said.
A second exporter said he was uncertain how long this level would hold. "I think it will prove to be the near-term high," he said. "The big guys have pushed the 80/20 price to the docks down to $320, and there is nothing in sight to put a floor under the weakness. Steel seems to get softer daily, and the overall economy is afloatbarely."
On the West Coast, market participants said there were two bulk cargo sales over the past week. A trading company concluded a sale to South Korea at $388 per tonne c.i.f. Korea for HMS 1&2 (80:20), while a U.S. exporter reportedly sold a mixed bulk cargo of heavy melt and shred to China at an average price of $390 per tonne c.i.f. China.
Sources said U.S. offers to China were slightly above those traded levels, while a bid from a Taiwanese mill for bulk shred was reported at $390 per tonne c.i.f. Taiwan.
AMMs West Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled Monday at $355.17 per tonne f.o.b. Los Angeles, down 5.2 percent from $374.83 a week ago.