A US bulk scrap cargo sale was made to Turkey on March 7 and lifted Turkish scrap prices closer in line with US prices, alleviating, at least temporarily, concerns about a potential spring-time correction in US scrap prices.
The March 7 sale at $303/mt CFR Turkey HMS 80:20 basis was up $20/mt from the previous US sale on February 15.
Sentiment had softened a touch during the US March buy week, which started at levels up $40-$60/lt and closed on March 7 at levels up $25-$50/lt.
East Coast exporters sold significant tonnage into the US market during March as did “swing” dealers who have the ability to ship to the docks or into the Ohio Valley and Midwest. The extra available tonnage from the coast helped to cap domestic prices.
Analysis continues below...
The March 7 sale could help keep coastal scrap at the docks next month and take pressure off obsolete grades in the US market.The sale included around 20,000 mt of shredded scrap priced at $308/mt CFR.
After deducting freight and stevedoring, it equates to about $281/mt FOB US East Coast, or $285/lt shipping point, similar to this month's domestic US pricing.
One US mill buyer cautioned about the March 7 sale saying, “let’s see if this becomes a trend or not.”
Another mill buyer said he expected a “small pullback” in April prices “but if export stays hot, I can see shred getting tight.”
Platts analyzes other steel and scrap products in this feature:
Scrap | HRC | Rebar | Semi-finished | News
Next commentary: HRC imports drop sharply on slow demand in Turkey