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Ferrous scrap export prices fall in quiet week

Keywords: Tags  US ferrous scrap, scrap exports, scrap prices, sean davidson

NEW YORK — U.S. bulk ferrous scrap export sales were relatively quiet this past week as only two cargoes were sold from the East and West coasts.

An East Coast cargo sale to Turkey late last week was reportedly concluded at an average price of $369 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey for a mixed cargo scheduled to carry equal tons of shredded scrap and a 90/10 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt.

While the prices for the bulk scrap delivered to Turkey were on par with previous sales out of the United States, the smaller vessel size, which attracts higher freight rates, meant that pre-shipping values of East Coast scrap shed a few dollars.

As a result, AMM’s weekly East Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index settled Oct. 7 at $332.68 per tonne f.o.b. New York, down 1.9 percent from $339.05 per tonne a week ago. The drop was due mostly to the differential in freight rates for vessels of around 30,000 tonnes vs. 40,000-tonne and larger vessels.

Market participants said it was still unclear where prices are heading, but one trader source—referencing a late Oct. 7 sale out of Europe—suggested prices are likely to firm.

A European sale to Turkey concluded at a composite price of $373.50 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey for 21,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20), 7,000 tonnes of shredded scrap and 7,000 tonnes bonus-grade material, the trader said. "This puts the (U.S.) HMS 80:20 price up to $370- to $371-per-tonne levels," he said.

However, a second trader said it was still too early to determine the next price levels for U.S. sales.

On the West Coast, only one exporter reportedly sold a bulk cargo to South Korea, marking the second in two weeks for the same exporter.

Market participants said the lone cargo was booked at $365 per tonne c.i.f. South Korea for 2,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20), $370 per tonne for 13,000 tonnes of shredded scrap and $380 per tonne for 10,000 tonnes of bonus-grade material.

The sale caused a marginal shift in pre-shipping prices as AMM’s weekly West Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index settled at $332.20 per tonne f.o.b. Los Angeles, down 0.2 percent from $332.94 per tonne previously.

Much like the uncertainty prevailing over prices to Turkey, one exporter said there continues to be a lot of interest from some Far East Asian buyers for bulk West Coast scrap but no price direction.

"I feel this market is up. But by how much? Is it up $5 or $10? I really don’t know at this point, so I’m being cautious with my offers for November deliveries," he said.

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