NEW YORK U.S. bulk ferrous scrap export tags continued to slide this week, with cargoes sold to South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey at depressed prices.
After a long quiet period, demand from Asia returned to U.S. shores, albeit with lower bid prices that two exporters finally accepted.
One West Coast export yard reportedly sold two bulk cargoes Feb. 17 to different mills in South Korea at $362 to $363 per tonne c.i.f. Korea for No. 1 heavy melt, with prices for an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt said to be a dollar lower.
Market participants said the cargoes most likely comprise 20,000 tonnes of heavy melt, 10,000 tonnes of shred sold at $368 per tonne and 2,000 tonnes of plate and structural scrap sold at $373 per tonne.
The prices represent a $23-per-tonne drop from the last U.S. bulk sale to Korea, which concluded more than a month ago at $385 per tonne for No. 1 heavy melt.
A day later, a second West Coast exporter sold a bulk cargo to Taiwan at $364 per tonne c.i.f. Taiwan for 12,500 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) and $369 per tonne for 12,500 tonnes of shred.
A source familiar with the Taiwan sale said the exporter was forced to sell the cargo at those price levels because of the first exporters "weak sales to Korea."
"I think the price is going to go up $5 to $10 (per tonne) on the next sale because there is a lot of demand. Too many mills are looking for cargoes. All of Korea wants to buy, as do Vietnam and Taiwan," he said.
Meanwhile, Turkish mills reportedly returned to the U.S. East Coast, with talk of one cargo sold at $352 to $354 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey for HMS 1&2 (80:20), some $4 to $6 per tonne below sales the previous week (amm.com, Feb. 13).
The cargo reportedly sold at a composite price of $359 per tonne for a 45,000-tonne cargo divided equally between HMS 1&2 (80:20) and plate and structural, AMM understands.
Some traders said a second cargo had been sold to Turkey but no information was available on the price or material.