NEW YORK West Coast export prices for containerized
ferrous scrap have retreated to late-April levels following the
end of a brief demand spike from Taiwan.
Market participants who had reported export sales of an 80/20
mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt in a range of $360 to $370
per tonne c.f.r. Taiwan at the start of May said prices are now
back to the $350- to $355-per-tonne range.
An earlier lull in demand from Taiwan, China and South Korea
had sent HMS 1&2 (80:20) prices under $350 per tonne in
mid-April, but improving rebar prices in Taiwan forced mills
there to return to U.S. shores for scrap, which helped briefly
lift prices to a range of $355 to $360 per tonne (
amm.com, April 26
). Sources said prices even
trekked as high as $370 per tonne for some shipments during the
last days of April before gradually returning to the $350- to
$355-per-tonne price range after Taiwanese mills fulfilled
their initial orders.
Exporters were divided when asked about demand levels this past
week, as some said demand was weak while at least one said
demand remained steady.
Markets are soft in all regions, said one large
exporter, citing new container prices at $352 per tonne c.f.r.
Taiwan, down from a previous weeks range of $355 to $360.
The large exporter said softness in rebar sales in Taiwan
caused the price decline.
Other sources said large exporters have offered several bulk
cargo vessels of scrap to consumers in Taiwan, South Korea and
Malaysia, with the potentially large supply contributing to a
softening in container prices.
Buyers for different mills in South Korea and Taiwan confirmed
that they were offered several bulk cargoes, and rumors are
rife that bulk sales were concluded to Vietnam, Taiwan,
Malaysia and South Korea.
The market is very difficult (on the) West Coast. There
is very little demand from Asia, said a buyer for a South
Korean consumer. Container scrap is being offered at $350
to $355 for HMS 1&2 (80:20).
A buyer for a Taiwanese steel producer said Taiwans mills
were offered five bulk cargoes at a price range of $380 to $383
per tonne for heavy melt.
Container offers were lower at $355 per tonne c.f.r. Taiwan,
but its more important why five bulks were
offered, he said, adding that in his opinion, it means
South Korea is out of the market.
A second West Coast exporter said South Korean exports of
finished goods to Taiwan have impacted Taiwanese mills
sales and consequently hurt their demand for U.S. scrap.
At least one exporter, however, said he felt that demand is
There still is steady demand from Taiwan and Korea.
However, pricing has been slipping the last few weeks but
seemed to have settled at around $350 to $355 per tonne c.f.r.
Taiwan, the third exporter said. Demand had
lessened the last couple weeks, with larger mills buying less
than what they normally do. However, it seems as if the past
week, demand has stabilized and there seems to be decent
interest at these levels.
Meanwhile, a fourth exporter said he expects prices to decline
Tokyo Steel (Co. Ltd.) lowered prices, and Kanto (region)
dealers are putting No. 2 heavy melt into Taiwan at $345,
he said. One Korean consumer is waiting for bulk to go to
the $370 level, if that, as Russian bulk scrap is available at
the $365 range.