Experts debate scrap price floor at Kallanish conference

Experts at Thursday’s Kallanish International Steel Scrap Conference in Istanbul held differing opinions over the future of Turkish scrap prices, which have continued to drop recently.

US-based recycler Novek representative Ali Sezen said prices are approaching bottom. According to him, the influx of Russian billet into the Turkish market, which has depressed scrap prices, is likely to end soon as production costs at Russian mills are very high due to the strong rouble.

Russian mills will stop exporting cargoes and sell their production to the local market, he added. Moreover, Turkey’s flat products import tax will soon be increased to 9% from 6% currently.

“My personal feeling is that scrap prices will continue the downtrend this summer, but will recover in September if everything goes well,” he commented.

Conversely, Belgium-based recycler Casier Recycling commercial director Alain Eeckman opined that scrap prices are likely to fall below $300/tonne cfr Turkey.

“Technically, it’s possible [for prices to fall below $300/t cfr], but I tend to agree that falling below $300 is very hard. Let’s not forget this is for the material that exporters will be bound to sell. This is $20-30 below the price now; the average price, I’m sure, is way above $300,” he observed.

He also does not expect scrap prices to recover by mid-August, as Western Europe enters into the holiday season.

“I think a lot of people are already in holiday mood – let’s not do anything, let’s just wait,” he said.

Kallanish assessed HMS 1&2 80:20 scrap at $320-325/t cfr Turkey on Thursday.

Siew Mung Tan Malaysia