NEW YORK West Coast export prices for bulk shipments of ferrous scrap continued to climb on strong demand from several Far East Asian countries last week.
News emerged of two bulk cargo sales to China and one to Thailand, and a consumer in South Korea reportedly was negotiating a price on four cargoes.
Market participants said one exporter sold two bulk cargoes to a consumer in China at a composite price of around $382 per tonne c.i.f. China for equal volumes of shred and an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt.
A second cargo of only shredded scrap reportedly was sold by a trading company to a mill in Thailand at $390 per tonne c.i.f. Thailand.
All three sale prices were well above the last bulk sale off the West Coast, which reportedly traded at $377 per tonne c.i.f. Taiwan for a smaller-sized vessel (amm.com, Oct. 14).
AMMs weekly West Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index settled Oct. 21 at $344.89 per tonne f.o.b. Los Angeles, up 1.6 percent from $339.61 a week ago.
Bid and offer prices are now in a range of $380 to $385 per tonne c.i.f. South Korea for No. 1 heavy melt, according to several sources, who expect a Korean consumer to book four bulk vessels in that range within the next day or two.
"We are now entering winter, so everybody is going crazy," a Korea-based mill buyer said. "This is a very important time in the (Far East Asian) region. Any cargoes booked now will reach late December (or) early January, when domestic market scrap collections are very low."
One U.S. exporter said bad weather conditions had dried up scrap collections in Japan, the largest exporter of ferrous scrap to China and Korea. "Japan has been raising prices. I think were entering a supply-driven pricing model now, so I think prices will continue to rise. Scrap flows are tight on the West Coast, which is also having an impact on price," he said.
AMMs weekly East Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index settled flat Oct. 21 at $352.08 per tonne f.o.b. New York, with no business done during a week-long religious holiday in Turkey.