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Bulk scrap export prices hit three-year low

Keywords: Tags  ferrous scrap exports, export prices, Turkey scrap, South Korea scrap, AMM Ferrous Scrap Export Index, Sean Davidson

NEW YORK — U.S. East Coast bulk ferrous scrap export prices fell to a three-year low this past week as Turkish mill buyers continued to hammer down prices.

Market participants reported only one confirmed bulk sale off the East Coast to Turkey last week, while a few sources said there were unconfirmed reports of a second bulk sale.

A trading company sold the only confirmed cargo May 15, about a week after purchasing the cargo from a U.S. exporter. Although initial market chatter pegged the average price of the sale at $364 or $365 per tonne for a mix of heavy melt and shred, sources later said that the cargo of 10,000 tonnes of shred and 20,000 tonnes of an 80:20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt sold at an average price closer to $360 per tonne. Since the booked volume is about 10,000 tonnes lower than larger bulk trades, it will ship on a smaller vessel and attract a significantly higher freight rate due to a two-port loading.

A second unconfirmed bulk sale reportedly was concluded at an average price of $360 per tonne for a mix of heavy melt and shred (, May 16).

Sources have said that the market hasn’t encountered such price levels since summer 2010, and they are still unsure whether prices have bottomed.

On the West Coast, most sources said that the market had been very quiet, with no bulk sales reported. However, one source said that a South Korean consumer had bought two bulk cargoes from the United States and a second source claimed that Asian consumers have been asked to keep deals quiet.

AMM’s weekly East Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled May 20 at $329.20 per tonne f.o.b. New York, down 3.3 percent from $340.51 a week earlier, while AMM’s West Coast Ferrous Scrap Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled May 20 at $340.75 per tonne f.o.b. Los Angeles, unchanged from the previous week.

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