NEW YORK Two U.S. ferrous scrap bulk cargo sales booked to Turkey over the past week indicate that export prices to the largest offshore consumer of U.S. steel scrap have stabilized.
Market participants said one mill in Turkeys Marmara region booked a mixed bulk cargo of an 80-20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt, shredded, and plate and structural scrap (P&S) at prices of $365, $370 and $375 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey, respectively.
A second cargo reportedly carrying 28,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (95:5) and 2,000 tonnes of P&S was sold to a different mill in the same region at a composite price of $370 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey.
As a result, prices on the East Coast weakened marginally with AMMs weekly East Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index settling at $337.59 per tonne f.o.b. New York July 15, down 0.5 percent from $339.32 per tonne a week earlier.
Some U.S. exporters suggested that prices are likely to hover around $365 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey for the next few weeks as more recent cargoes were booked by Turkish mills for delivery in September.
"It is our feeling that the Turks will now go back to sleep and try to force the market down. Some of the cargoes ... are for September shipment, so most of the mills have satisfied their appetite. In the opinion of our agent, the HMS market could top out at $380 sometime this year but it will take another big push," according to one source.
A second exporter said it was still too early to gauge the direction of the market for next month.
"It looks like prices have stabilized at $365 per tonne for U.S. HMS 1&2 (80:20) or Baltic A3(-grade scrap). The prices may keep stable at this level during July. Its hard to say right now the direction for September bookings though," he said.
Most sources said the West Coast bulk scrap export market remained quiet over the past week, with only one bulk sale reported.
Volumes could pick up in the region this week as U.S. exporters and Far East Asian mills are in the thick of negotiations, one source in the region said.
A second West Coast source said there had been just one bulk cargo sale to Taiwan at $363 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (80:20) c.i.f. The sale indicates a strengthening in prices and current offers are also said to be around the same level or higher.
"We havent heard much lately on the bulk cargo sales, but we know bulk shippers have moved up $10 prior to previous week," a third source in the region said.
AMMs weekly West Coast Ferrous Scrap Index settled at $330.50 per tonne f.o.b. Los Angeles, up 2.4 percent from $322.67 per tonne a week earlier.