NEW YORK Detroits scrap market was again first to settle this month, with most mills completing their purchases by Nov. 6.
Supplier resistance to increases of $25 per gross ton paid off as mill buyers increased monthly prices by $30 per ton on major grades like No. 1 busheling, shredded scrap and plate and structural scrap. However, regular buying by one steel mill in the region that has moved away from purchasing scrap only at the start of every month resulted in a smaller increase for Detroits heavy melt market.
With only two consumers of No. 1 heavy melt in the Detroit region the mill was able to prevent heavy melt prices from jumping a full $30 in November, causing AMMs assessment to finish at $364 per ton, up $23 from October.
Some market participants said No. 1 heavy melt traded at $365 to $370 per ton, but acknowledged that volumes were limited in that range.
AMMs assessment for No. 1 busheling and shred in Detroit stood at $430 and $384 per ton, respectively, Nov. 6, up $30 per ton from October. Meanwhile, five-foot plate and structural prices were assessed at $388 per ton, also a $30-per-ton increase from last month.
Meanwhile, market participants in Chicago said two mills had yet to step into the market with firm prices while the rest have reportedly completed a majority of their buy.
Early indications point to increases of $30 to $35 per ton in Chicago depending on grade and last months price.
Sources across the Midwest said turnings were the tightest in supply, followed by heavy melt and plate and structural, while busheling remains in healthy supply.
"My original thinking was up $20 to $30, but $25 just wasnt pulling in tons. $30 just seemed to do the trick and gave everybody a way to release tons they were holding back on," said one Midwest mill buyer.
The $30-per-ton increases are partly due to both a tight supply of cut grades, which also propped up prime grades, and strong order books on hot-rolled coils, he said.
"Suppliers said we want $30 and they hung in there pretty steady for it," one Midwest supplier said. "Its within the range thats acceptable. ... It was driven by a shortage of cut grades. Shredded isnt in abundant supply either, especially going into the winter."
In the Mid-Atlantic, market participants reported increases of about $20 per ton on most grades while in Ontario sources said prices have increased $25 per net tonne on primes, $30 per tonne on cuts and $35 per tonne on shredded scrap.