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Turkey fuels ferrous scrap export gains

Keywords: Tags  ferrous scrap, steel scrap, scrap exports, heavy melt, ferrous scrap export index, Sean Davidson

NEW YORK — A late-week surge in prices of ferrous scrap exports to Turkey helped lift overall East Coast prices by nearly $10 per tonne.

After one exporter sold a mixed cargo of around 30,000 tonnes July 24 at a price basis of $372 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey for an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt scrap, two more East Coast cargoes sold at higher price points and lower freight rates.

Market participants said two cargoes of at least 40,000 tonnes of ferrous scrap from different exporters were sold to Turkey July 26 at a price basis of $375 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (80:20). Although the sales were just $3 per tonne higher on a delivered basis, the freight differential due to different vessel sizes and single-port vs. two-port loading indicates that pre-freight values on the East Coast for the larger vessel exporters are significantly higher than those achieved by the 30,000-tonne exporter.

Sources also reported two bulk cargo sales last week out of New Orleans and one out of Canada.

Following last week’s sales, AMM’s weekly East Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) settled July 29 at $346.28 per tonne f.o.b. New York, up 2.6 percent from $337.59 a week earlier.

Some market participants were surprised by the rising prices as political turmoil in Egypt continues to cast a shadow on how Turkish product sales into Egypt will fare starting in September.

A buyer for a Turkish mill said strong demand for finished product from countries to which Turkey exports has combined with an uptick in domestic demand to fuel more mill interest in scrap. A European exporter agreed, and both expect a better market in September.

A few U.S. exporters, however, said the price increases were fueled mainly by sellers’ resistance to lower prices.

"My guess is that because the U.S. domestic market is holding its own and freights have inched up, sellers are unwilling to take anything under the ask price, and all seem to be of the same mind. Also, inflow has been very slow and inventories as I can tell are being sold as they are generated. There is no overhang," one exporter said.

Meanwhile, West Coast market participants said the market was completely quiet, with no bulk sales reported. As a result, AMM’s weekly West Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index for HMS 1&2 (80:20) was unchanged July 29 at $332.43 per tonne f.o.b. Los Angeles.

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