Midwest scrap markets are expected to settle Dec. 6 as steel
mills and dealers indicated they were approaching agreeable
price levels for pending volumes.
Of the sporadic
trading reported across different Midwest regions, market
participants said that cut grades continued to trade at
increases of $20 per gross ton, with shredded scrap gaining
between $25 and $35 per ton depending on the prior month price
and delivery location.
said prices for prime grades could rise up to $10 per ton
on late trades despite several trades reported at prices
unchanged from November. Dealers attributed their push for
gains in prime scrap to the larger-than-expected price
increases recorded by shredded scrap.
Others said prices
were bound to increase during the week and speculated there
could be some late strengthening in Indiana for prime scrap
"Primes are already up
$10 per gross to two large producers. The people that sell last
in December and first in January will be the smartest," one
Midwest scrap dealer said. "Theres still reluctance at
some mills and I think they need to have their heads examined.
Their orders are good and mills are doing better."
A few mill buyers who
have reportedly concluded a majority of their December
"I would anticipate
that mills come up short on shred and cut scrap and end up
putting some upward pressure on primes. I wouldnt be
surprised at all if (some mills) come back in to buy primes ...
at up $20," one buyer said.
In Detroit, several
sources said prime grades had traded at unchanged prices, with
cut grades up $20 per ton and shredded scrap up $30.
Across the Midwest,
sources cited imminent winter storms as a contributing factor
to rapidly strengthening sentiment.
inventory on the ground. Were going to end up with three
weeks of production on inbound scrap. And if you dont
have it, how are you going to sell it?" a scrap dealer
Meanwhile, mill buyers
in Pittsburgh and Cleveland are reportedly experiencing sticker
shock with shredded scrap sales up $35 and $40 per ton,
respectively, from November prices.
In the Carolinas and
Alabama, markets began trading late Dec. 5 with most grades
headed for a $10 per ton increase, with dealers pushing for
larger gains on shredded scrap.
Mills in Alabama could
likely succeed with raising prices only $10 per ton in December
due to down times scheduled at some plants, sources said.
In the Carolinas,
where mills have also scheduled outages this month, tags are
likely to follow trends established in Alabama, sources
"I sold a little to one mill at up $10 and am happy to hold
back tons, sensing the market will be stronger in January," a
shredder source selling into the North Carolina market