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East Coast bulk scrap prices trek up

Keywords: Tags  scrap, scrap exports, ferrous scrap, scrap prices, export prices, heavy melt, shredded scrap, HMS Sean Davidson

NEW YORK — East Coast export prices for bulk ferrous scrap shipments to Turkey continued to rise over the past week, after one sale in the middle of last week helped delivered prices record a $26-per-tonne increase through October.

The cargo, the lone East Coast sale, was booked Oct. 30 at $395 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey for an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt and $400 per tonne for shredded, although a second exporter traded another cargo out of Houston at around $400 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (80:20), sources said.

Cargoes sold out of the Gulf Coast typically sell at a premium to East Coast sales to cover the additional freight costs, which means the second cargo price reflected levels that were nearly level with the East Coast sale, one exporter said.

The sale represents a $26-per-tonne increase in delivered prices from the first week of October, when a smaller volume cargo sale was recorded at $369 per tonne for a mix of HMS 1&2 (90:20) and shredded scrap.

As a result, AMM’s weekly East Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index settled Nov. 4 at $367.08 per tonne f.o.b. New York, up 0.9 percent from $363.64 per tonne a week ago.

But several market participants said they were unsure if prices would rise further despite rumors of offers in a $400- to $405-per-tonne range for HMS 1&2 (80:20).

"It all depends on what prices Turkish mills can get for reinforced bar," a second U.S. exporter said.

"(The) scrap side is strong, but we need demand for the market to go up further," a third exporter said.

However, one Black Sea exporter speculated that export prices to Turkey could retreat next week.

"On (Nov. 1), the Turks were out of market due to a stronger dollar. There were also several offers on the market as well from the U.S. and Europe. So most probably we will see lower prices this week," he said.

Meanwhile, the lack of any bulk sale from the West Coast kept AMM’s West Coast Ferrous Scrap Export Index unchanged Nov. 4 at $355.50 per tonne f.o.b. Los Angeles.

Market participants in the region said there had been interest from buyers in Thailand, Taiwan and South Korea, but with no agreement on price.

Nevertheless, at least one exporter was bullish. "The West Coast market will be over $400 per tonne c.i.f. Korea, with Japan driving it. (One major consumer) will be in the market and two others will test the waters, but probably won’t buy," he said.

A second regional source said South Korean mills are aggressively chasing scrap, but with no conclusions on bulk shipments they have resorted to booking containerized scrap.

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