NEW YORK West
Coast export prices for containerized ferrous scrap have
dropped $20 per tonne over the past few weeks due to a decline
in finished steel demand in key Far East Asian countries.
said prices have fallen to a range of $340 to $345 per tonne
c.f.r. Taiwan for an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt
scrap, down $20 from the end of August (
amm.com, Aug. 29) and as much as $15 below HMS
1&2 (80:20) prices of $355 per tonne that were recorded in
the first two weeks of September.
"Once the Taiwanese
sense a weakness they run the prices down until they impede
flow. They also closely watch the U.S. market and adjust
according to U.S. pricing," an exporter source said.
market speculation points to potentially weaker export prices,
a buyer for one producer in Taiwan said a trend reversal is
possible in the coming week following the end of the Mid-Autumn
Festival holiday in Asia.
He said that $345 per
tonne was the last price on Sept. 16. "We are expecting that by
Wednesday it may increase. Rebar demand is expected to increase
after the Asia autumn festival is over, and currency exchange
rates are stronger in Asia by quite a bit after the U.S. Fed
decided not to taper quantitative easing."
however, are bearish.
"With the potential
for more domestic downside in October, I dont see the
Taiwanese correcting prices this soon. If there is increased
demand after the Chinese holiday that could change the market
as scrap availability is still tight on the West Coast," the
exporter source said.
A second exporter said
he sees no immediate upside. "There is no demand anywhere for
finished steel. I just dont see how there could be such a
large return of demand that it could take the (scrap) market
up," he said.
A third exporter said
the market had lost more ground since Sept. 16 because the
autumn holiday in China kept a lot of buyers out. "The
container heavy melt value in Taiwan is $340. I dont hear
much in the way of $345," he said.
Falling export prices
forced bulk exporters in California to lower their buying
prices from local suppliers by $10 to $20 per gross ton since
the start of this month, with buying prices for No. 1 heavy
melt reportedly in a range of $280 to $300 per gross ton,
depending on location, volume and the last traded price.