Steel scrap market in February: Strongest volatility of prices since long time

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Stahlschrott (Foto: Kürth/Recyclingportal.eu)

Genoa, Italy — The last three months showed the strongest volatility of the scrap prices since long time. Strong and fast both positive and negative corrections have been the leitmotiv. It means that the tension on the markets is rising, not only for the well known expected geopolitical events but also for the growing speculation following the Turkish market movements.

Market sentiment remains totally mixed and no one knows what will be the next price level. Now, mid-March, there is some calm, with the hope that it will last as longest as possible, in order to balance the buying and selling price margins and, above all, to bring again some profitability to all the chain operators.

In the beginning of February, Italy followed the prices decline of the last ten days of January on the domestic spot market. Therefore the prices moved down week by week until mid-February, with about € 30 of reduction. The monthly contracts with the European suppliers have been settled on the average of € 20 reduction, but for smaller quantities. At the end of the month the wind changed again, supported by the increased Turkish purchases plus the better mills demand. Also the stronger price offered for the basic pig iron from the Black Sea ports influenced the demand (and price) of the high-grade scrap like new bundles, E8 and E2.

Prices restarted their growth again with fast movements on the spot domestic market and they spread now higher compared to the ones of January. Also the contracts settled with the European suppliers go back to January prices. The scrap, BPI and HBI arrivals at the Italian ports were lower that the previous months. At the end of the month the mills inventories were a little bit shorter than usual.

Following the February indications of the average prices paid (€/pmt delivered):

New arising E8:
Italy 230
France 240e
Germany 240

Shredded E40:
Italy 229
France 245e
Germany 245e

Demolition scrap E3:
Italy 211
France 226
Germany 227

So the current March prices are on the same level of January ones. Also the Turkish buyers seem now less aggressive on the market.

On the 6th March the three extraordinary Commissioners of ILVA opened the bid envelopes submitted by AcciaiItalia and Am Investco Italy for the purchase of ILVA Group’s assets. The Government target is always to close the business within June at the latest. It will depend on the time that the Commissioners will need to examine the bids.

PIG IRON – H.B.I.

The HBI arrivals came from the Black Sea and from Koper (Voest Alpine). Last HBI offers are reported around 300$ pmt CIF Italy. The pig iron arrivals were all from the Black Sea ports and also one vessel from Brazil. The pig iron offers are now quoted around of $380/390 pmt CIF for April shipment. Due to the high BPI prices buyers are now working to buy more high-grade scrap and other kind of pig iron (Flat pig iron, Sunday pig iron, etc) at lower prices. The inventories at ports and mills are lower than the previous month.

Source: Alocci Rappresentanze Industriali