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‘New normal’ for ferrous scrap industry

Global – Scrap prices have made further tentative gains in recent weeks but remain relatively low, with a number of experts anticipating a prolonged period at or around current levels.

Latest cfr price indications for shipments from Europe to Turkey are US$ 190-195 per tonne for standard quality HMS I/II 80/20 scrap and US$ 195-200 per tonne for shredded. Earlier in November, there was a flurry of bookings from mills in Turkey but this stock replenishment phase now appears largely complete.

Steelmakers in many countries are continuing to blame cheap Chinese exports as the anchor dragging down their sales ambitions, although the Chinese volumes shipped abroad fell below 9 million tonnes in October from the all-time monthly high of 11.3 million tonnes in September.

Chinese billet prices have recovered slightly from the US$ 250 per tonne levels noted in Recycling International’s ferrous report of late October, exceeding US$ 260 on a cfr basis. Crude steel production fell 2.5% in the opening 10 months of this year to 1.346 billion tonnes.

For the fourth month in a row, October witnessed a combined capacity utilisation of below 70% for the 66 countries reporting to the World Steel Association: at 68.3%, this represented a drop of 3.4 percentage points over the same month last year and of one percentage point over September 2015.

The full version of Recycling International’s latest ferrous market analysis will appear in its December 2015 issue.

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