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Surprise recovery in ferrous scrap values

Global – International ferrous scrap prices have rallied significantly – and for many, unexpectedly – since Recycling International’€™s March issue went to press. Experts appear divided on whether the upturn may be short-lived or whether there is even more upside potential.

In our market report concluded on February 24, cfr price indications for shipments from Europe to Turkey were US$ 170-175 per tonne for standard quality HMS I/II 80/20 scrap and US$ 175-180 per tonne for shredded, with Baltic Sea and US suppliers commanding just a few dollars more. In some cases, however, Turkish buyers have since been prepared to pay more than US$ 200 per tonne for shredded and the customary US$ 5 less for the HMS I/II 80/20 mix.

The upward move is said to reflect higher Chinese billet prices and restricted flows of scrap. Early-March indications are also for higher ferrous scrap prices on the domestic US market. Increases typically in the US$ 10-20 per ton bracket have been attributed to a combination of low scrap availability among dealers and rising US steelmaking capacity utilisation.

According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, utilisation was 72.7% in the final full week of February compared to 69.5% for the year to date.

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