Polish transport congestion pushes up scrap prices

Polish scrap prices are increasing by as much as €60-70/tonne ($61-72/t) in an on-month comparison, both for the domestic and export markets, market participants tell Kallanish.

Prices are being driven up by the latest Turkish hikes, but they are also being inflated by heavy transport disruptions. Prices for trucks, railway, and sea transports are increasing sharply. Shipping companies and forwarding agencies are now prioritising the transport of grains, coal, and weapons in and out of Ukraine, with the result that deliveries for all other non-sensitive commodities such as scrap are experiencing delays.

The war in Ukraine is congesting all transport routes in Poland and other countries like Romania. Polish mills are paying steep increases to make sure they will receive scrap on time. Port congestion is reported in Poland and Romania, causing delays to scrap export shipping. In Poland, two trading sources confirm that port gates are often closed due to heavy traffic. Sellers in the country are lamenting a lack of empty sea boxes for scrap as transport costs for containerised scrap continue to soar.

Costs for 400km of truck transport in Poland from or to the city of Poznan have doubled to about €1,000/t since the war in Ukraine started. Booking railway transport is similarly complicated and pricey, with delays certain. The holiday season is further slowing activity.

Traders who sell containerised scrap are particularly hard-hit by the transport disruption. One seller says he will strive to deliver all his current orders, but will stop quoting because the market has become too unpredictable.

This month, the popular grade E40 shredded in Poland has surpassed the level of €400/t delivered. Companies are asking as much as €390/t ex-works and about €50-60/t more for new arisings E8. E40 is at €340-360/t delivered in countries such as Italy, France, and Germany. This month, Italian and Spanish mills are having difficulties finding scrap in Eastern Europe.

Natalia Capra France