NEW YORK U.S. bulk ferrous scrap shipments to Turkey gained a few more dollars this week as buyers pushed to elicit interest from exporters who were otherwise absent.
East Coast exporters have sold just three bulk cargoes to Turkey over the past seven days, forcing Turkish buyers to turn to British and European suppliers for about a dozen cargoes since March 11.
Market participants said that one U.S. exporter sold an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt March 18 at $370 per tonne c.i.f. Turkey, indicating a $3- to $4-per-tonne increase from a sale concluded March 13 at around $366 to $367 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (80:20).
The latest transaction was for 14,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) booked at $370 per tonne, 10,000 tonnes of shred at $375 per tonne and 2,000 tonnes of bonus scrap at $380 per tonne, according to several sources.
On March 12, an export cargo of about 35,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) and 10,000 tonnes of shred sold at an average price of $368 per tonne c.f.r. Turkey.
The moderate price increase between the two sales is due to a relative absence of offers from several large U.S. exporters, with sources in Turkey indicating they were not sure why U.S. material was not being offered to Turkey.
One market participant suggested that uncertainty on U.S. domestic market price direction in April has been a contributing factor in the current lack of offers, while a second speculated that U.S. suppliers will wait to see how much higher European suppliers can push prices before they step in.
In the most recent reported sale, European scrap export prices climbed to $375 per tonne for No. 1 heavy melt and $372.50 per tonne for HMS 1&2 (90:10), indicating that there could be support for further U.S. price increases.
Meanwhile, minor bulk activity appears to have returned to the West Coast after some market participants reported a sale to a South Korean consumer at around $358 to $360 per tonne for No. 1 heavy melt delivered to Korea.
The price is about $5 per tonne lower than the last U.S. bulk cargo sale to Korea more than a month ago but around $8 per tonne above the last reported bids from Korean mills.