Benelux scrap market questions price recovery

Market participants in the Benelux are seen questioning a possible price recovery following an EU-origin scrap deal in Turkey.

On Friday, a western long steel mill bought an EU-origin cargo comprising 18,000 tonnes of HMS 1&2 80:20 at $344/tonne, 12,000t of shredded at $364/t and 10,000t of bonus grade at $364/t cfr Turkey.

Compared to the latest UK-origin HMS 1&2 80:20 deal done at $342/t cfr by the same producer the previous week, this new European deal points to a recovery in prices.

However, although suppliers are interpreting this as an increase in prices, most market participants in Turkey question if other mills will also accept paying these values as most were resisting prices above $340/t cfr and preferred to wait.

A Turkish mill tells Kallanish: “The producer might have paid this price due to the high tonnage of shredded and bonus in the cargo. If this was just an HMS 1&2 80:20 cargo, no one would accept to pay this price.”

Another mill says: “I think scrap should be at around $300/t cfr levels. When you look at the prices of billet and slab in the international market, obviously Turkey has no competitive power with the current finished and semi-finished steel prices.”

A Benelux scrap supplier comments: “I agree that steel sales are not doing well but, on the other hand, collection is interrupted at these prices due to higher collection costs. Scrap prices cannot fall further.”

Dock prices in the Benelux, meanwhile, decreased to €275-290/t ($275-290) delivered on Monday, down from €285-295/t on Monday last week. Material flow, however, remains quite weak at these levels.

In the Indian sub-continent, demand for scrap remains subdued, putting pressure on prices. While the Pakistani economy is suffering in the aftermath of flooding, weak finished steel demand and the arrival of previously booked bulk cargoes in India are hampering new scrap demand. Containerised shredded offers were seen standing at $440-450/t cfr Nhava Sheva on Monday.

Burcak Alpman Turkey