Europe P&S scrap is emerging as a possible source of imported ferrous scrap for Chinese mills at competitive prices to Japanese heavy scrap (HS) materials, Fastmarkets heard.
A 10,000-tonne P&S cargo from Europe was heard sold to a major eastern China steel mill at $460-470 per tonne cfr China this week, although the rumored buyer did not confirm this. P&S is the name given to the scrap grade known as HS in Japan and as heavy scrap in China.
freight rates for Europe P&S scrap ***
Freight fixture lists have also showed an inquiry for a 10,000-tonne cargo loading in Rotterdam for a March shipment to a port in Shanghai or Ningbo.
“Everyone is wild about China,” a trader source told Fastmarkets on Friday February 19.
Several industry sources questioned if the rumored deal were possible, given the small cargo size and the high freight rates it would have incurred.
“While China is indeed fetching a better price compared to Turkey, and it would be more profitable to sell cargoes there, it’s hard to work a 10,000-tonne cargo along that route,” a second trader source told Fastmarkets.
“For a small vessel, the freight on this deal would be a killing,” a third trader said. He also dismissed the possibility of the load making up part of a cargo, saying that it would be highly unlikely to happen on the Rotterdam-China route.
A fourth trading source estimated freight costs of at least $45 per tonne for the route.
Japanese HS cargoes were heard offered in a range of $470-500 per tonne cfr China on Friday, with bids heard as high as $470 per tonne cfr China.
Fastmarkets’ daily price assessment for steel scrap, heavy recycled steel materials, cfr China was $470 per tonne on Friday, narrowing up $5 day on day from $465-470 per tonne cfr week on week.
Containerized P&S cargoes from Europe have also been offered to Chinese buyers at $465 per tonne cfr in recent days, while a sale of Singapore-origin P&S was heard closed at $440 per tonne cfr China earlier in the week.
China domestic scrap ***
Market sources expect China’s domestic prices to rise soon although it has been stable in the past two days.
Fastmarkets’ assessment for steel scrap heavy scrap domestic, delivered mill China was at 3,170-3,190 yuan ($491-494) per tonne on Friday, unchanged from February 5.
Scrap yards and truck drivers are yet to return to work in their entirety since the CNY ended so major mills have maintained their purchase prices of ferrous scrap, sources said.
But market participants expect mills to raise their purchase prices next week on good demand.
“Mills running electric-arc furnaces could achieve a profit of 300 yuan per tonne, so are active in production and buying ferrous scrap,” an industry analyst said.
Mills running blast furnaces posted partial losses but are positive regarding steel demand in the next couple of months, so also have strong demand for ferrous scrap, he added.
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