Demand for import scrap in Turkey weakens as prices still rise
While the upward trend of import scrap prices in Turkey which started at the beginning of June still continues, the price increases were observed to have gained momentum particularly in recent weeks. Although no new import scrap deal in Turkey has yet been heard in the current week, scrap suppliers in the Turkish market are now reported to be giving offers at higher price levels compared to those recorded in the transactions concluded last week.
Following the sharp rises in the Chinese steel market last week, the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) held a meeting on Friday, August 11. At the meeting, representatives of major steelmakers, futures exchanges, futures trading brokers and steel industry news portals discussed the rapid rises seen recently in the Chinese steel market and they agreed that the sharp price increases were not due to improved demand or to significant declines in supply, but due to speculative activities. In the wake of the meeting, the Chinese steel market started the current week with downward movement, while it is observed that the declining trends of iron ore, finished steel and semi-finished steel prices in China have also continued today, August 15. With Chinese finished steel export prices also starting to move down, this softening of prices originating in China has been reflected in the global market, causing upward price movements to come to a halt in some regions worldwide, while buyers are observed to be maintaining a cautious stance in the international markets. Meanwhile, in the Turkish market rebar buyers have reduced their purchases against the backdrop of the cautious atmosphere seen in the global markets and also due to the approaching Feast of Sacrifice holiday (Aug. 31-Sept. 4). In parallel with these developments, Turkish steel mills are less willing to conclude new import scrap bookings, instead they are seen to be standing aside somewhat from the market.
Although scrap inventories of many overseas suppliers have declined as a result of the deals they have already concluded to Turkey, some suppliers are still giving new scrap offers to Turkey. The price of HMS I/II 80:20 scrap increased to $354/mt CFR in the deals concluded last week in Turkey. In the current week, an ex-Baltic scrap supplier is offering a cargo to Turkey at the average price level of $365/mt CFR, while an European supplier is offering a scrap cargo to the same destination at the average price level of $361/mt CFR. On the other hand, Turkish steel mills are in a comfortable situation in terms of scrap supply after concluding plenty of import scrap deals recently, and so they are not expected to rush to conclude new scrap transactions before the situation in the global market gains clarity.
*This was published on SteelOrbis website on August 15, 2017.