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Uncertainty clouds ferrous scrap export market

Keywords: Tags  ferrous scrap, exports, prices, No. 1 heavy melt, No. 2 heavy melt, Turkey, U.S., Western Europe Sean Davidson

NEW YORK — The ferrous scrap export market was flooded with rumors of four bulk sales to Turkey from the United States and Europe, but only one sale out of Western Europe was confirmed.

Most market participants refused to accept any of the rumored deals as indicative of the next price level, even though the rumors universally pointed to weaker sentiment.

From the United States, rumors are that an exporter sold either one or two cargoes to a single mill in Turkey at a price level of anywhere between $350 to $355 per tonne c.i.f. for an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt. More sources reported they had heard the rumored price near the middle of the range, but none had a confirmation from either the mill or the seller.

One U.S. exporter ruled out the possibility of U.S. export tags dropping to $350 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (80:20) and said that all the rumored prices were inaccurate.

Meanwhile, an exporter in Europe said that there is also talk of a second U.S. exporter—which typically ships up to 30,000-tonne cargoes—concluding a sale to Turkey at $355 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (80:20), with no confirmations.

A market source told AMM that a U.S. exporter had offered HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $357 per tonne but received no bids. "They were asked to hold the offer price until Monday, but the whole world could change by then," he said.

Contrary to market rumors, which appear to be aimed at driving down prices, the U.S. offer indicates an early attempt to arrest the recent decline in export prices by at least ensuring that the market has "bottomed," the market source added.

Export markets were inundated with rumors of sales from Europe, with talk of one cargo sale of either HMS 1&2 (70:30) or HMS 1&2 (75:25) at $333 per tonne, although a source in Turkey said that the deal, if it occurred, was likely concluded last week since export sales have been finalized below that level.

There were also rumors of a sale from the United Kingdom to Turkey at $350 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (80:20), but only one sale from Western Europe has been confirmed at a price level of $325 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (75:25), market sources say. The sale would represent a $15-per-tonne price decline from a week ago for the exporter to the same consumer.

Although market participants are uncertain of whether price levels will hold at the last-reported sales levels of $352 to $355 per tonne for U.S.-origin HMS 1&2 (80:20), some said that buyers in Turkey are pointing to weak rebar prices to further soften tags.

Turkey’s domestic sales prices for rebar steel are varying by region between $585 and $590 per tonne, with export prices at $570 for small volumes and $560 for large volumes, according to sources in Turkey.

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