Scrap price volatility is persisting in the United Arab Emirates, following the latest round of AED 10-15/tonne ($3-4) increase in the last two days on the back of rising exports.

However, these exports may come to an end as authorities have assured steel sector participants that a customs crackdown on misclassified scrap exports may take place starting next Monday. However, all industry players are used to such verbal promises, which are yet to be followed through in practice, notes Kallanish.

On Wednesday in the UAE domestic market, delivered scrap quotes were at AED 1,270-1,280/t for HMS 1/2 80:20, AED 1,290-1,300/t for HMS 1 90:10 – so called HMS Super – AED 1,350/t for HMS light-heavy mix sheared, and AED 1,330-1,375/t for fabrication.

The billet market is quiet, with rebar-grade billet prices remaining at $525-535/t delivered for the local induction furnace route, $540/t delivered for the ex-Oman electric arc furnace route and $510/t delivered ex-Iran. An induction furnace-route producer sealed a 1,000-tonne 3sp billet deal at $535/t delivered for prompt shipment.

Two weeks ago, the UAE’s largest steel producer concluded a deal through a trader for 40,000t of 3sp grade billet at $505-510/t fob for June load readiness, destined for Egypt. 

"The customs authorities have assured steel sector participants that they will launch a crackdown on customs to stop scrap exports under false declarations. We will see if the UAE is a banana republic or an advanced country with strict rules and enforcement," comments one industry participant.