NEW YORK Export
prices for containerized ferrous scrap to Asia slid over the
past seven days despite buyers returning to the markets after
the regions Lunar New Year holiday.
Poor finished product
sales and domestic scrap prices across the region impacted
scrap tags and failed to bring back seasonal, post-holiday
demand, market participants said.
Most sources noted
declines in U.S. West Coast containerized ferrous scrap export
prices over the past week, putting trades for an 80/20 mix of
No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt in a range of $335 to $338 per tonne
c.f.r. Taiwan. These prices were reportedly down from $340 to
$345 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (80:20) previously and off about
$20 per tonne since mid-January (
amm.com, Jan. 15).
One Taiwanese trader
said the decrease was triggered by domestic price drops in
Japan and the United States, adding that Japanese mills lowered
their prices after receiving bulk scrap shipments that were
booked in December, when the market there soared due to supply
"I guess that material
arrived in Japan one after another. So the mills in Japan
started to cut down domestic prices, which impacts the markets
a lot," he said. "After the Chinese New Year (holiday),
finished product sales out of China and South Korea have been
slow. Taiwan reflects the market very quickly. ... Therefore,
they have been testing the market."
Prices continue to
slide as Asia returns to the market and could bottom out at
$330 per tonne c.f.r. Taiwan for HMS 1&2 (80:20), one U.S.
exporter said, but others speculated the market could drop
further to around $325 per tonne.
"With the recent scrap
price drops at Tokyo Steel (Manufacturing Co. Ltd.), scrap
prices are continuing to erode despite the return of Asian
buyers. Bulk will also be affected," the U.S. exporter
A mill buyer in Taiwan
said his mill was already bidding $332 per tonne for HMS
1&2 (80:20) but had yet to trade at that level Feb. 13.
Steel mills across
South and Far East Asia will continue their efforts to drive
scrap prices lower, one Japanese trader said.
"Demand for scrap has
not been rising in most regions. Most steel mills are expecting
scrap markets to keep softening as iron ore and coking coal
markets are still on the downward trend," he said.
said inquiries from Vietnam and Indonesia are on the rise, with
Thailand and China virtually out of the market with extremely
Sales of containerized
HMS 1&2 (80:20) were reported into Vietnam in a range of
$345 to $350 per tonne c.f.r. Ho Chi Minh City, down $5 per
tonne from previous levels. Scrap delivered into the port of
Haiphong, Vietnam, was reported at about $5 per tonne above
reportedly booked containers of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $345 to
$350 per tonne c.f.r. Jakarta, identical to the previous range,
with shredded scrap prices at around $380 per tonne.
One trader for a
global containerized scrap exporter said these countries booked
scrap purely because prices had dropped, while another trader
said he felt some buyers were taking positions on scrap.
"We didnt see
any demand return (after the Lunar New Year holiday) and found
most suppliers did not sell at these low prices. Some buyers
bought cargoes because they expect a rebound. It is more like
gambling," he said.