German scrap prices reach €600, uncertainty clouds market

German scrap prices skyrocketed in March due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and short supply, according to German scrap market participants. Most sources expect uncertainty to cloud the market going forward.

Prices in southern Germany and in most other parts of the country surged by €80-110/tonne ($87-120/t) this month, a Bavarian buyer tells Kallanish.

Nationwide average prices for old thick scrap sort 3 are up from €450/t to €550/t. The price for new scrap sort 2/8, meanwhile, has reached €600/t.

The price for E40 shredded scrap has reached €590/t.

In Austria, scrap prices have also increased significantly, for old thick scrap sort 3 to €515/t and new scrap sort 2/8 to €540/t.

“New exports to Turkey and some European countries had an impact on the German scrap market in the first two weeks of the month due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” another German market participants notes. “However, in the last ten days, exports to Turkish steel mills have decreased because of high prices.”

“Despite the onset of spring, collection rates for scrap in Europe are declining due to high transport costs and other logistical problems,” a merchant observes. “Meanwhile, the limited output of automobiles and at manufacturing companies is limiting the production of basic scrap. In addition, the lack of pig iron from the CIS has increased demand for new grades of other raw materials.”

Increasing the amount of base scrap used in furnaces can compensate for the reduced availability of pig iron, the merchant adds. “However, the availability of quantities is still very low.”

Market participants describe the situation as very turbulent and even chaotic, making longer-term or even medium-term forecasts impossible.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria