Scrap Prices North America

Ferrous Scrap Down $20-$25 in Early September Trades

Written by Tim Triplett

As of the first week of September, with the market still unsettled, ferrous scrap was expected to trend down for the month by another $20 per ton for obsolete grades and perhaps that much for prime, report Steel Market Update sources. On Friday afternoon, we did hear that prices settled in some of the markets with prices dropping $20 to $25 per gross ton depending on product and region.

“Higher export prices and weaker inflows over the last week put a floor on the market and dealers resisted price cuts of more than $20,” said one dealer in the Northeast, “but there will be a sizable bounce over the next 30-60 days.”

Scrap export markets nosedived in the first part of August and there appeared to be ample supply in the U.S.  So, some predicted the market could move down $30/GT to as much as $50/GT, noted another dealer in the North. However, the export markets recovered after a brief lull.  Shredded scrap bottomed out in early August with a September shipment sale to Turkey at $305/MT CFR, a drop of $25/MT almost overnight.  Since then, the export market has recovered to about $325/MT CFR with renewed interest from mills in Turkey and Latin America, he reported. 

Earlier this week, several mills came in for scrap in the Midwest at down $20/GT for busheling/bundles and down $25/GT on Plate & Structural. In the South, the market is pretty well established at down $20/GT across the board.  “There are others yet to buy, but there is no denying that the revival of the export market limited the September ambitions of many scrap buyers,” the dealer commented.

The same metrics apply to pig iron. Brazil is sold out on Low Phos until November, save one small producer. The Russian/Ukrainian suppliers have availability for October shipment (which means arrival at riverside mills in December).  “They relented on their last sale as the market was looking shaky and sold at $397/MT CFR NOLA, down $7-10/MT. But as they have watched the export scrap market come back fairly strong, they will now drive a harder bargain,” he added.    

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