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Spiralling steel scrap

Global – The ferrous scrap price rally has driven cfr Turkey values to US$ 300 per tonne and beyond for the first time in more than a year.

Latest cfr price indications for shipments from Europe to Turkey are around US$ 80 per tonne higher than those published in our late-March report at US$ 300-305 for standard quality HMS I/II 80/20 scrap and US$ 305-310 for shredded. US and Baltic Sea suppliers are commanding a premium of around US$ 10 per tonne.

With iron ore and steel product prices gaining significant ground in recent weeks, ferrous scrap values have not been slow to respond – not least because of mounting concern among merchants, exporters and consumers about where the additional material will be sourced to satisfy improved levels of demand.

Higher prices have tempted some collectors to part with material and have sparked an increase in demolition activity, but scrap processors on both sides of the Atlantic have not seen a flash flood of supply, showing that some suppliers have still been prepared to hold back some of their material to see what price heights can be achieved.

Latest figures for March show that global crude steel capacity utilisation exceeded 70% for the first time since June last year. The rate of 70.5% for the 66 countries reporting to the World Steel Association represented an increase of 3.9 percentage points over February this year but was still 1.3 percentage points shy of the figure recorded for March 2015.

The total output of 385.671 million tonnes for the first three months of 2016 was 3.6% short of that for the corresponding period of last year when a fraction over 400 million tonnes was produced.

The full version of Recycling International’s latest Ferrous market report will appear in its May issue.

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