NEW YORK U.S. bulk ferrous scrap export prices stayed relatively unchanged as trade came to a virtual standstill this past week.
Bulk sales to Turkey stalled as buyers backed away from markets after several weeks of amassing large volumes to cover inventory into October.
Market participants said Turkish mills booked only four bulk cargoes last weekone out of Canada after being diverted from Egypt (amm.com, Aug. 21), another from the United Kingdom and two from Scandinavia.
"Buyers in Turkey are covered and could be on standby for some weeks. They will wait to see the development of their sales on finished steel," one exporter said.
A second source said that a lot depends on how U.S. domestic scrap prices fare in September. "Turkey might probably take a break for two to three weeks as they wait to see what the U.S. scrap market will do in September," he said.
The lack of U.S. export sales kept AMMs weekly East Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index for an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt unchanged Aug. 26 at $354.21 per tonne f.o.b. New York.
On the West Coast, sources said that a few Asian mills are entertaining bids but none would confirm any transactions. The only reported sale was a bulk cargo to China the previous weekend at a price basis of $375 per tonne for shredded scrap.
However, exporters reportedly are aiming higher due to two significant developments over the past few days. The first was an increase in domestic prices in Japan following a push by Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co. Ltd.; the second was an almost $10-per-tonne increase in bid prices to Taiwan, with shredded scrap bids reportedly hitting $380 per tonne, according to sources.
"There is not much going on as West Coast suppliers try to push prices up by $10 to $15. More demand is coming back and Japan exports arent widely available at the moment," a third source said.
AMMs weekly West Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index settled Aug. 26 at $337.58 per tonne f.o.b. Los Angeles, up 0.4 percent from $336.16 a week earlier.