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Sentiment turns positive in US scrap market

Following the sharp fall in July, the US scrap market has recovered in August but not yet seen the significant increases registered in export markets. Most market participants are however bullish and expect prices to rise with September trading, even in the Midwest where the recovery has remained limited compared to the South and Southeast.


In the South and Southeast, August trading has seen firmer market conditions thanks to export markets and stronger domestic demand.


Most market participants expect prices to rise in September trading, with the highest increases foreseen in shredded scrap prices.

A US scrap supplier tells Kallanish: “In the Midwest, shredded scrap prices could increase up to $30/tonne. Prime grade scrap prices are at their lowest levels. It is very much related to domestic and export demand. In export markets, obsolete grades are preferred, whereas in the US demand is mostly towards prime grades.”


Another supplier adds: “Other than prime, I can easily say that supply is tight for scrap. The major export markets such as Taiwan and Turkey had strong scrap demand and obsolete grades have all gone there.”


On the West Coast, US-origin containerised HMS 1&2 80:20 prices, which stood at $257/t cfr a week earlier, increased to $260/t cfr Taiwan last week. Offer prices have increased to $263-265/t cfr, though buying interest is lower now due to stagnant finished steel demand in Taiwan.


On the East Coast, Turkey’s scrap demand fell significantly last week. Although there were US suppliers who were ready to sell at the previous week’s prices or even lower, Turkish mills showed no interest in scrap purchasing. Only a few short-sea scrap bookings were concluded last week. Having been forced to lower their rebar quotes this week, Turkish mills are seen to be targeting lower prices for US-origin HMS 80:20 at below $280/t cfr.


Source: Kallanish