NEW YORK Depressed market prices for zorba, a basic nonferrous auto shred, have brought Indian buyers back to the U.S. market after a long hiatus.
Market participants said the continued absence of strong Chinese demand for zorba has pushed prices down to a level now attractive to Indian buyers.
Material with 94- to 95-percent metallic content dipped to 67 to 68 cents per pound April 25 from 67.5 to 69.5 cents a month earlier, sources said, while prices for 90- to 92- percent metallic content material reportedly are flat at 65 to 66 cents per pound.
"We havent sold to India in the last seven years and all of a sudden were selling to them," said one supplier source. What was being sold to China at 70 cents per pound previously sold to India at 66 cents per pound, he said. "They (India) usually are not big players but since prices are breaking so low, theyre being opportunistic. They figure they can make some money."
"When were selling to India, it tells me that prices are pretty much at the bottom," another zorba seller said.
Chinese aluminum smelters have pulled back on scrap purchasing because of reduced access to credit as well as a depreciation of the yuan, sources previously noted (amm.com, March 26). As a result, several suppliers have turned their focus to domestic producers of twitch, a more refined shredded product.
However, some market participants are hopeful of an uptick in demand from China.
"China has not bought as much material as it used to but that might be lightening up some time soon," one exporter noted, while a second said: "China is starting to heat up a little bit."