Sliding ferrous scrap prices in Japan have had a knock-on
effect on West Coast containerized ferrous scrap export prices
News that Tokyo Steel
Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Japans largest electric-arc
furnace operator, lowered its buying prices for the second time
in four daysa total drop of $10 per tonnewas
followed by the results of a benchmark monthly tender in Japan
that shaved around $17 per tonne from December prices.
Far East and Southeast
Asian markets use the rather transparent benchmark set by Japan
to influence their own trading decisions. The double blow from
Japan pushed U.S. containerized ferrous scrap export prices to
Taiwan down between $5 and $10 per tonne Jan. 15, market
One Taiwanese producer
lowered its domestic scrap buying prices by $7 per tonne Jan.
15, just two days after announcing it had left its scrap prices
transactions of an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt to
Taiwan in a range of $355 to $360 per tonne c.f.r. Taiwan, down
from $365 to $368 per tonne previously.
Taiwanese buyers have
mostly stepped away from the market, sources said, as news of
falling pig iron prices in the region raised uncertainty on
scrap prices. Markets also are preparing for the regions
Lunar New Year holiday slowdown.
buyers are sitting on their hands hoping to see a $345 to $350
market," one exporter said.
Weaker rebar sales in
Taiwan contributed to lower scrap prices, according to a second
Apart from Taiwan,
most sources said there was little to no interest from Chinese
buyers, who reportedly are bidding $340 per tonne for
containerized HMS 1&2 (80:20).
"China is out. It will
be rather quiet until after the Chinese New Year (holiday). In
Asia, scrapyards tend to clean out inventory prior to the
Chinese New Year to collect cash for the New Year and pay
bonuses. After the Chinese New Year, it is supposed to be the
peak demand period," a buyer in the region said.
prices in Vietnam in a range of $365 to $378 per tonne for
heavy melt, with South Korea at around $365 per tonne and
Thailand $10 lower.
"I think it is kind of
a who-blinks-first situation: dealers or overseas consumers. I
also would not be surprised to see further softening from China
and Taiwan because we are heading into the Chinese New Year,
which is historically a very quiet time for trading," a third
exporter said. "Depending on how much volume gets traded at
lower levels, it will be interesting to see what happens in
mid-February, after the Chinese New Year."
participants said bulk exporters announced a $10-per-gross ton
drop in buying prices Jan. 15, but there was no confirmation of
whether dealers accepted the lower prices.