Benelux scrap market stands still, eyes Turkey

Benelux scrap prices, which recorded sharp rises in previous weeks, softened last week amid absent activity.

Most scrap exporters stopped procuring material last week due to lack of demand in major export destinations. There were only a few exporters needing to fill a vessel in the market.

Although a few exporters are still paying €400/tonne ($453) to procure scrap, most are seen to have decreased their buying prices to €395/t ($448) delivered for HMS 1&2 80:20. Even €390/t is available from a few exporters in Belgium.

One Benelux exporter tells Kallanish: “Demand has stopped in the export markets. We have stopped buying as we initially want to see what our customers will do. We have clearly seen that HMS 1&2 80:20 prices at above $503/t cfr Turkey did not work.”

Following the latest EU-origin scrap deal at $503/t cfr Turkey in the week before last, European suppliers offered HMS 1&2 80:20 at $505-509/t cfr Turkey last week but buyers showed no interest.

Another Dutch exporter says: “Despite a sharp decrease in demand, collectors are still targeting high prices and are not pushing or rushing to sell. They are also waiting. Flow into our yards is very weak, even at €395/t.”

A Benelux supplier describes the local market as being in a complete standstill.

“If Turkey continues to halt scrap purchases this week, dock prices in the Benelux will definitely fall,” says another exporter.

Most market participants, however, expect Turkish mills’ scrap demand to recover this week as Turkey has not yet started booking April-shipment cargoes. Given that a large amount of April-shipment scrap is yet to be booked, most market participants seem bullish over near-term pricing.

In India, meanwhile, mills’ buying interest remains weak. While containerised shredded scrap offer prices are at $540/t cfr Nhava Sheva, mills are showing no interest, even in lower-priced offers.

Burcak Alpman Turkey