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Stalemate on India imports of scrap continues

Keywords: Tags  scrap shipments, India imports, U.S. scrap, European scrap, heavy melt, HMS, shredded scrap, Sean Davidson

NEW YORK — India’s imports of U.S. and European heavy melt and shredded scrap have almost completely stopped as an impasse between bid and offer prices continues.

Offer prices from exporters remained relatively unchanged this past week despite a strengthening Turkish market, but failed to attract Indian buyers, most market participants said.

Offers for shredded scrap are at $380 to $385 per tonne c.f.r. Nhava Sheva, but only two large Indian producers responded with bids $10 below that level.

"There is no good news from India," according to one Mumbai, India-based supplier and trader. "Demand has gone out of the market. The auto sector is down 30 to 50 percent, construction is down, power and engineering is down. Everywhere it is a dull atmosphere."

Good quality heavy melt scrap from the Middle East and Africa sold at up to $345 per tonne c.f.r. Nhava Sheva, while very small volumes of shredded scrap from the region sold at $370 to $375 per tonne, other sources said. There has been no buying by alloy steel plants or stainless steel producers, several sources said.

A source at a large exporter said only two large consumers had shown interest in scrap this past week, but lower bid prices resulted in no business.

Most raw material prices have dropped in India for different reasons, he said. Scrap and pig iron prices have fallen on low buying activity and sponge iron prices have declined due to an inventory buildup. Only billet prices remain firm, he said.

European exporters have set their sights on North America, which is poised to record higher domestic prices in the coming week, one North American exporter said.

"I have heard scrap is flowing from Europe to North America. I am sure it is due to the slowdown in emerging markets and very low demand from India," he said.

Some heavy melt business into northern India concluded this past week at $355 per tonne for scrap sourced from the Middle East, with no sales into Nhava Sheva, a second North American exporter said.

"Nhava Sheva is still quiet. Besides, due to Diwali (a major Indian festival to ring in the Hindu New Year) we will know more only after Nov. 6. I haven’t heard of any sparkling deals on shredded scrap," he said.

While most sources in the United States, Europe and India said there had been no business to report this past week, only one exporter noted a deal for shredded scrap at $385 per tonne.

"There (were) definitely a lot more inquiries this (past) week and prices are climbing. I wouldn’t say that they are matching just yet or that there have been a lot of sales. I think there will be a lot more movement (in the coming) week as suppliers will also be more inclined to sell as well after (U.S.) domestic has settled," he said.

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