NEW YORK An
attempt by some Taiwanese and South Korean mills to push down
scrap prices has split market sentiment on the West Coast
despite no volumes trading at the lower prices.
For their part,
exporters reportedly have raised offer prices to counter the
mills lower bids, with most sources acknowledging it was
unclear how the development will play out in the coming
According to several
market participants, some Taiwanese mills lowered the bid price
for containerized shipments of an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2
heavy melt to around $360 per tonne c.f.r. Taiwan after booking
reasonable volumes in a range of $365 to $368 per tonne.
exporters, meanwhile, raised their offer prices to above $370
per tonne, with one exporters offer for HMS 1&2
(80:20) reported at $373 per tonne.
However, there were no
confirmations of any sales at prices above $370 per tonne or
below $365 per tonne.
A buyer for a larger
Taiwanese producer said he is focused on buying cheaper
domestic scrap and will wait to see where imports prices settle
in the coming days before participating in international
Some sources reported
that Korean mills have lowered domestic buying prices by $5 per
tonne, which could support an apparent move by some Taiwanese
producers to push prices down to $360 per tonne.
Others, however, ruled
out any decreases, citing recent bulk cargo sales to Korea at
$409 to $410 c.i.f. Korea for No. 1 heavy melt.
A buyer for one
Taiwanese producer questioned the reports of the bulk sales to
Korea. "Most mills are baffled at the $409 bulk purchases (by
one Korean consumer). Iron ore weakened. Foreign exchange rates
weakened, with the Japanese yen over 100 (to the dollar)," he
One exporter of
containerized scrap claimed that the reported prices were
possibly false. The news of 165,000 tonnes of scrap selling
from the U.S. West Coast to Korea at $409 per tonne for No. 1
heavy melt "is a disguise to screw the Japanese traders," he
product demand in Japan has forced Japanese mill buyers to
search foreign shores for scrap, which is atypical to the net
One market participant
said that Japanese mills have bought about 10,000 tonnes of
scrap ex-Hong Kong in the past two weeks, with another
suggesting that Japanese mills are being forced to follow
import prices set by Korea.
because of the bulk contract news, container suppliers are
trying to increase their offer prices. The market is messy," a
buyer for a Korean producer said.
Some sources in
Taiwan, meanwhile, said there were no local reports of imports
of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $370 per tonne.
"Its the usual
U.S. West Coast suppliers hype. They always do that. Our
buyers are balking at that number," one trader said.
markets in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam are far from
bullish, a seller to those regions said.
Apart from an
unconfirmed report of a bulk sale from Australia to Vietnam at
$390 per tonne for heavy melt, delivered prices for
containerized scrap into those countries have hovered at $355
to $360 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (70:30), $365 to $370 for
shredded scrap and $370 to $375 for bonus grade scrap, he
"The reason why the
market in such regions is behind the international scrap market
is that steel mills have not succeeded in transferring the
increases in scrap cost to the price of their finished products
due to tough competition with Chinese products," he said.