Benelux scrap prices jump on strong demand

Scrap prices in the Benelux recorded another sharp increase last week amid strong Turkish demand.

With the dollar at 1.1432 per euro, dock prices on Monday were mostly at €390-395/tonne ($446-452) delivered, up from €365-370/t a week ago.

Despite prices approaching €400/t levels, scrap flow is not strong in the EU, as bullish suppliers are targeting higher prices and thus withholding material. On the other hand, increasing Covid-19 cases are causing them to follow a cautious stance.

Turkish mills’ demand for imported scrap remained strong last week. As a result, EU-origin HMS 1&2 80:20, which stood at $461/t cfr the previous week, climbed to $484-485/t cfr in the first half of last week. It then reached $490/t cfr Turkey on a booking concluded on Friday.

Netherlands-origin material was offered at $494/t cfr on Friday. This level, however, was not accepted by Turkish mills.

One Turkish mill tells Kallanish: “A $29/t rise in a week is a lot. Besides higher prices here, Benelux exporters are benefiting from lower freight prices.”

A Benelux exporter points to the strengthening euro, adding: “The exchange rate has climbed from 1.11 to 1.14 in a very short period. This, coupled with the sharp rise in dock prices, is increasing our costs.”

In the Indian subcontinent, Indian scrap demand is seen to have slowed following the sharp rise seen in prices, while Indian mills have sufficient inventory. Offers for containerised shredded were unchanged on-week at $540-545/t cfr Nhava Sheva. Dubai-origin HMS 1&2 80:20 prices, however, have reached $495/t cfr on the latest bookings.

This week, scrap prices are likely to increase further following China’s strong return to the market after the Lunar New Year holiday, as well as its plans to boost the use of steel scrap. China, the world’s top steel producer, said on Monday it aims to boost utilisation of steel scrap, as part of a plan to develop a higher-quality, greener ferrous industry.

Burcak Alpman Turkey