NEW YORK U.S. bulk scrap
export prices to Turkey dropped to a nearly three-year low
Thursday as mill buyers continued to drive prices downward.
Two exporters each sold a bulk
cargo to different Turkish mills on May 15 and May 16, market
participants said. That sent U.S. bulk scrap export tags below
$360 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey for an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No.
2 heavy melt ex-East Coast for the first time since the summer
The two sales are close to $10
per tonne lower than the previous weeks sales off the
East Coast to Turkey.
One exporter reportedly sold a
cargo May 16 carrying 37,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) and
8,000 tonnes of shredded scrap for a composite price of $360
per tonne c.i.f. Turkey, sources said. The price indicates HMS
1&2 (80:20) prices have dropped below $360 per tonne since
shredded scrap typically commands a $5-per-tonne premium to
heavy melt, they added.
A day earlier, a trader sold a
smaller, 28,000-tonne vessel to Turkey at a composite price of
slightly less than $365 per tonne for a mix of HMS 1&2
(90:10) and shredded scrap.
A flurry of bulk sales from
Europe, the United Kingdom and Russia to Turkey also hovered
around $360 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (80:20), with heavy melt
sales from the United Kingdom reported in a range of $355 to
$358 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey.
Sources are uncertain whether
these record lows are an indication that the market has found
its floor or if further declines are imminent.
"Last November, I think it got
down to $364 or $363," one exporter said. "Before that, I think
the last time it went below $360 was in the summer of
A second exporter said that he
was unsure if prices would fall further, but noted that market
conditions remain discouraging.
"It is very serious: the crisis
in sales of finished steel, lack of demand, low prices and the
fact that many steel producers are losing money. There is
overproduction and (there are) 20 sellers to one buyer," he
Declining export selling prices
forced exporters to lower domestic buying prices for scrap
delivered to their docks, according to a few sources. Exporters
are attempting to buy No. 1 heavy melt at $290 per tonne or
less with mixed success, they said.