NEW YORK U.S. bulk ferrous scrap export prices to Turkey firmed this week as two cargo sales reflected a strong domestic market.
Turkish mills looking to fill inventory found little interest from European suppliers and higher prices from Russia, and therefore have turned their attention to U.S. exporters offering comparatively more viable prices, according to market participants.
One U.S. exporter sold an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt at $372 per tonne c.f.r. and a second exporter sold a cargo at a price level of around $373 per tonne c.f.r. for HMS 1&2 (80:20), indicating an increase of $2 to $4 per tonne from a cargo sold last week (amm.com, July 2).
The first exporter reportedly sold 14,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (80:20) at $372 per tonne, 23,000 tonnes of shred at $377 per tonne and 3,000 tonnes of 5-foot plate and structural scrap at $382 per tonne.
The second exporter sold 13,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 (90:10) at $376 per tonne, 12,000 tonnes of shred at $381 per tonne and 2,000 tonnes of plate and structural scrap at $386 per tonne.
Market participants said the two cargoes sold within a day of each other, with the latter sale recording a $4-per-tonne increase in shredded prices after U.S. domestic prices for shred trended anywhere from sideways to up $15 per gross ton in different U.S. regions.
"The low availability from Europe because of the good domestic demand there and domestic price increases in the U.S. are keeping prices to Turkey strong," a trader said.
One European exporter said market speculation that Turkish finished steel prices could strengthen by late August or September has provided some price support to scrap.
"With the steel market not improving at all over the last (few) weeks, buyers have been trying to bring down prices by $10 to $20 per tonne, but in vain," he said. "Now there is a risk that any possible strength in steel prices by August or September could push up scrap prices. Therefore, the buyers are trying to build up some stocks. The other factor is that Ramadan in the hot month of July has a large impact on the domestic collection of steel scrap, and therefore buyers have difficulties in buying sufficient quantities of cheap local scrap."
One Turkish trader said that a firm U.S. domestic market has made sales to local mills more attractive for exporters, for whom Turkey is not a priority given the current prices into both markets.