NEW YORK An
apparent tightness in ferrous scrap supply in Japan, South
Korea and Taiwan and on the U.S. West Coast has triggered a
rebound in containerized scrap export prices.
Sale prices to Taiwan
are almost back to early September levels of $355 per tonne
c.f.r. for an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt, market
participants said, after falling to around $340 per tonne last
amm.com, Sept. 20).
were sold to Taiwan last week at $350 per tonne c.f.r. for HMS
1&2 (80:20), with prices climbing higher at the start of
this week, buyers and sellers said, while U.S. offer prices are
now anywhere between $355 and $360 per tonne c.f.r. Taiwan,
although sources said trading has been sparse in that
"With the additional
rebar sales this (past) week, there is more demand for scrap
than immediate availability," one exporter said. "Once again,
the market in Asia dropped too much and is now paying the price
to come back."
Apart from Taiwan,
buyers for mills in China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand all
expressed interest in U.S. scrap due to very low regional scrap
availability, one trader said. "Im hearing Japan mills
have interest in bulk cargoes and are looking out of the West
Coast through Japanese traders. This is due to very low
inventory levels in Japan."
Japanese scrap dominated export sales to most Far East Asian
markets as currency values and tepid domestic demand resulted
in lower prices for its scrap. "They are now sold out on scrap
and this is boosting prices and demand for U.S. scrap, which is
also tight on supply," a second U.S. exporter said.
"There are now more
available markets than available material," the first exporter
said. "Mexico is pulling from the South, domestic from the
North and East, and Asia from the West."
ramp-ups in Taiwan and improved order books for its rebar bar
also have contributed to rising prices, other exporters
saving for the summer months is over and they are going into
their peak season for buying," a third exporter said. "I expect
prices to go a little higher due to the shortage of scrap on
the West Coast."
However, some market
participants suggested that the current upward trend could be
temporary as the market establishes a ceiling.
"There is no reason to
believe this will continue," one West Coast supplier said,
while another said he wasnt sure if current price levels
would hold or retreat.
Others said it was too
early to determine where the market is headed.