February's ferrous scrap trade has nearly finished, with scrap prices in the coastal and southern regions falling further than prices in northern markets.
In Chicago, prices for shredded auto scrap and plate and structural scrap fell $20 per gross ton from January levels, settling at $277 per ton and $260 per ton respectively. The closely watched No1 busheling fell $10 per ton in Chicago, but mills are still trying to coax sellers into taking a $20-per-ton discount.
“Prices are down too low. People got [what they wanted] and will now hold... There is going to be a separate wave of trading where mills push for bigger discounts,” an Ohio Valley recycler with industrial accounts in Chicago said.
A large busheling supplier confirmed that mills have been trying to buy busheling at down $20 per ton. “One producer has tried down $20 per ton, but is not getting any support. Mills have capitulated at down $10 per ton. Big sellers would not budge at down $20 per ton.”
Another large busheling supplier said that the market had solidified for many sellers after Detroit settled down $10 per ton. "A lot of people took that down $10 [per ton] and ran with it. We didn't sell any prime for anything less than down $10 [per ton] even though they were pushing us hard for down $20 [per ton]," the second supplier said.
Similar to Chicago and Detroit, No1 busheling fell by $10 per ton in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, settling at $293 per ton, $310 per ton and $290 per ton respectively.
Prices for scrap in the Alabama market moved down $30 per ton across the board, including No1 busheling, which dropped to $292 per ton.
Prime scrap held up better in South Carolina where No1 busheling dropped by $20 per ton to settle at $278 per ton.
“There is still too much scrap in the Carolinas,” one South Carolina recycler said. A North Carolina recycler said he was not able to sell all of his material.
Texas mirrored the trend in Alabama and Arkansas-Tennesee, with prices in these regions falling at a $30 per ton discount from January.
Lisa Gordon in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.