Ferrous scrap prices have traded at least $25 per gross ton
higher in markets like Detroit and Chicago after several steel
mills finally offered firm prices Nov. 5.
Across all scrap
grades, prices jumped between $25 and $35 per ton, depending on
last months price, scrap type and delivery location,
market participants said.
Over the past few
days, mills in several regions locked in volumes on
to-be-determined prices, ensuring that their needs were met
while waiting for additional cues on final pricing, market
Mills in the Detroit
region were again the first in the Midwest to officially enter
the market this month at bids of $30 per ton above October
levels. Sources said only one mill in the region is believed to
have conducted business below those levels.
Shortly after news of
Detroits trading, mill buyers in Chicago and Indiana
reportedly stepped into the market with firm prices, and early
trades were logged on obsolete grades, shredded scrap and prime
scrap at monthly increases of between $25 and $35 per ton.
"Up $30 seems to be
the number that works," one mill buyer said, while a second
reported buying some volumes of shredded scrap and heavy melt
at increases of $25 to $30 per ton.
participants said they expect the Midwest to be Novembers
strongest market, with its southern and eastern counterparts
likely to record lower increases due to a drop in demand.
"I expect Chicago to
continue to be the strongest market. One concern with higher
prices will be whether brokers will be taking positions. My
feeling is that they will give mills a false sense of security
regarding available supply. I will have a close eye on flows
into dealer yards this month with the up market, but I suspect
it wont surpass demand any time soon," one supplier
"Cleveland is the weak
spot. If they were buying, this market would hit (increases of)
$40 to $50," a second supplier said. "People are laughing at
$20 (increases) out east."
Early sales into mills
indicated that the Pittsburgh market could be up $30 per ton on
shredded scrap and $20 per ton on other grades. A reduced buy
of No. 1 busheling by one consumer and another mills lack
of appetite for heavy melting scrap and plate and structural
scrap are keeping these grades from increasing as much as other
areas, sources said.
In Cleveland, deals
for prime grades were being done at $20 per ton higher, with no
firm prices on shredded or cut grades. The Cleveland area might
finish the weakest this month, with one mill only buying 40
percent of its usual volumes and no heavy melt.
A second mill in the
region had early scrap shipments held up due to operational
problems and reportedly doesnt need to build any
Across the country,
most sources said they expect markets to finish trading by Nov.
7 at the latest.
"I think with this
being a shorter month with days off due to the Thanksgiving
holiday that mills will not waste much time determining prices
and buying. I would think it would be (Nov. 6) or the next
day," one Midwest source said.
In Texas, one supplier
said a mill entered the market late Nov. 5 with bids that were
$25 per ton higher for some obsolete grades.