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Kallanish Kallanish

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September, 28th 2021

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SEP 13

US scrap market eyes October trading following losses


The US scrap market, which settled right after the Labor Day holiday last week, is now focused on October trading, with expectations diverging.

During September trading, obsolete scrap prices have settled $20-25/gross ton down from August trading, while prime grades decreased by up to $50/gt, depending on the region.

While some market players think prices have bottomed and will recover, specifically for obsolete grades, others doubt this as support from export markets is still lacking. Turkish mills continue to exert pressure on prices on the US East Coast, while on the West Coast high container rates are hampering business.

A US scrap supplier tells Kallanish: “Despite the firm market in the US, we have seen a sharp decrease in prices during September trading. This was mostly the result of weak export markets. Amid the continuation of this, further price decreases are inevitable.”

On the West Coast, containerised HMS 1&2 80:20 scrap prices are continuing to rise, while the number of offers remains limited due to ongoing shipment issues and higher container rates. In order to secure sufficient material at reasonable prices, Taiwanese buyers are seen to have redirected their attention to closer origins, which has caused Japanese prices to rise.

While the latest US-origin HMS 1&2 80:20 bookings appeared at $453-454/tonne cfr Taiwan towards the end of last week, fresh offers are seen to have increased to $460/t cfr levels.

On the East Coast, however, US-origin HMS 1&2 80:20 prices have followed EU-origin scrap down, falling sharply in a fresh booking. A long steel mill in Marmara has bought a cargo that consists of HMS 1&2 80:20 at $436.5/t and shredded at $451.5/t cfr Turkey. This compares to US 80:20 booked the previous week at $445-447/t cfr. The slight decrease in freight rates has supported the price drop.

Burcak Alpman Turkey