TOKYO Japanese scrap prices have fallen again as the market struggles to cope with recent increases.
The national average price being paid for H2-grade scrap (a mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt) over the past week was ¥32,707 ($338) per tonne, according to the Japan Ferrous Raw Materials Association. Thats down ¥244 ($2.52) per tonne from the previous weeks average.
The average price paid in the Kanto area around Tokyo declined ¥333 ($3.44) per tonne to ¥34,000 ($351) per tonne, while those being paid around the industrial heartland of Nagoya in central Japan fell ¥400 ($4.13) per tonne to ¥30,120 ($311) per tonne. However, prices in the Kansai region around Osaka remained unchanged at ¥34,000 per tonne.
With scrap prices hovering at their highest levels in months, prices have shifted direction in each of the past three weeks as suppliers try to figure out just how much the market is willing to pay.
Largely behind the strong upward momentum in Japanese prices since the summer has been heavy interest from overseas buyers, with the South Koreans in particular looking to take advantage of the weak yen.
However, there are indications that even they might be starting to balk at current prices, with market players noting that inquiries appear to have become more subdued than in recent weeks.
A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel First.