Low availability props up Italian scrap prices: Assofermet

Italian scrap prices should decline by no further than €10/tonne ($10.8) on average this month, as local merchants are unwilling to accept any further drops given the low scrap availability afflicting the market.

“Sentiment in these first days of June remains bearish due to poor sales of finished products. However, the continued low availability of scrap will help prevent major declines,” Italian steel trade association Assofermet says in its market note sent to Kallanish.

Several vessels of scrap imported by pools of mills are expected to reach Italy this month. A source says about eight ships of 40,000-tonne each are due to dock at Italian ports. The countries of origin are Venezuela, the UK and the US.

The first half of May saw price increases, while the second half registered price declines, the association notes. In the first half, prices rose €20-25/t, depending on category, mostly due to low availability. Industrial demolition was the grade that increased by the most, reducing the gap with E8 new arisings, which now stands at around €20/t. Demand remains strong for high scrap grades, the note continues.

Meanwhile, pig iron prices remain stable on-month, with some upward traction. At an international level, prices have remained mostly stable over the past month. “There is currently no official information regarding the cancellation of the [pig iron] export duty from Russia … although many executives are convinced that such a possibility is extremely real,” Assofermet concludes.

Sources confirm that Russian pig iron producers allowed to sell in Europe are currently not quoting.

Natalia Capra France