Global – The rapidity and scale of the recent ferrous scrap price decline shocked even some of the more seasoned industry experts despite earlier warnings that a downward correction was inevitable. In mid-January, European exporters to Turkey had been commanding more than US$ 310 per tonne cfr for HMS I/II 80/20 scrap but booking prices below US$ 230 were subsequently heard before a small recovery was mounted. Latest price indications for shipments from Europe to Turkey are US$ 235-240 per tonne for standard quality HMS I/II 80/20 scrap and US$ 240-245 for shredded.
Asia has been weaker for some time, with HMS I/II 80/20 scrap export values from the USA to the key Taiwanese market falling from around US$ 265 per tonne cfr in mid-January to nearer US$ 225 amid a threadbare demand influenced by the Chinese New Year holidays as well as by cheap offers on scrap from Japan and on billet from China and Russia.
The 65 countries reporting their figures to the World Steel Association produced a total of just over 133 million tonnes of crude steel in January – some 2.9% or almost 4 million tonnes less than in the opening month of 2014.
Capacity utilisation was 4.4 percentage points lower than in January last year and 0.4 percentage points below the December level at 72.5%.
*The full version of Recycling International’s latest ferrous market analysis will appear in its March 2015 issue.