scrap prices have recorded the largest gains in key Midwest
markets, with prime grades the weakest in trading for
indicated that several Midwest steel mills have concluded their
buying programs for the month, with a handful expected to wrap
up their purchases during the second week of December.
Chicago-area mills trended sideways on No. 1 busheling and
raised prices for plate and structural scrap by $20 per gross
ton compared with November levels, while shredded scrap tags
jumped $30 in Detroit and $25 in Chicago.
price assessment for shredded scrap in Chicago leveled out at
$415 per ton, while the assessment for Detroit finished at $414
Meanwhile, No. 1
busheling prices in Chicago and Detroit were unchanged from
November at $430 per ton.
In eastern Indiana
some sources reported increases in sales of prime grades, with
prices ranging from $425 to $445 per ton.
In a single month, the
price differential between No. 1 busheling and shredded scrap
has dropped to between $15 and $20 per ton from $40 to $45 per
ton, which several sources said will encourage traditional
shredded scrap consumers to push for the better quality prime
scrap in the coming weeks.
"I dont think
shredders should have been up $30. It got a lot of hype and
people went crazy with it. I dont think youd get
any more shred at up $30 than you would at up $10," one mill
buyer said. "Typical price differentials should be $20 to $30,
so when the gap comes to $20 and under then the mini-mills
start looking at busheling," he said.
Among the other
heavily traded scrap grades, No. 1 heavy melt prices recorded
different trends in Chicago and Detroit, as increased
competition in Chicago sent heavy melt prices up $23 per ton to
$400 for December, while heavy melt prices in Detroit increased
$18 per ton to $382.
said this months trading had been among the most active
in recent memory.
"It gained strength
throughout the week. Dealers are naming their price at this
point and are happy to hold anything that doesnt sell
until January," another mill buyer said.
As expected, many
mills have lowered their overall buying volumes this month due
to holiday shutdowns.
However, the drop in
demand wasnt sufficient enough to prevent prices from
rising due to apparent supply-side concerns on obsolete grades
"Even though the
demand is not great, the supply side is weak and dealers are
reluctant to oversell, and some will hold back scrap in a short
month," one dealer said.