Steel Mills

Feb Scrap Prices Up, Market Eyes Impact of Earthquakes on Turkey

Both prime and obsolete scrap prices rose in February even as the market continued to assess the impact of devastating earthquakes that struck Turkey earlier in the month.

steel scrap

Turkey is the world’s largest scrap importer, which is why the scrap industry is keen to know the impact of the earthquake and it aftershocks on Feb. 6-7.

One scrap executive said the domestic market is quiet now. “The situation in Turkey has frozen export activity and will cause the domestic market for March to probably be sideways at best,” he said.

Another executive, in contrast, said that US demand was good, and supply tight. He agreed that the bigger question was demand from Turkish mills.

“We’ll have to wait to see,” he said. “Reports are coming through that scrap cargos are again being unloaded in the Iskenderun region, and that the plants and port infrastructure there are intact.”

The Osmaniye province, particularly the Iskenderun area, is home to several steel mills.

The availability of workers might be the bigger problem. “There are some reports of workers staying at the plants, perhaps due to not having homes to return to,” the second executive added. “So short term, until they get back on their feet, there could be a dip in market prices for 80/20, but not much, as dock inflows are still very tight.”

Medium to longer term, increased demand for rebar could support scrap prices, he said.

A third executive agreed. “The growing consensus is that short-term price may drop, but mid- to long-term prices are expected to rise dramatically with rebar demand skyrocketing.”

SMU’s scrap prices for February are as follows:

 • Busheling at $440 -$480 per gross ton, averaging $460, up $20 from last month.

• Shredded at $440 -$470 per gross ton, averaging $455, up $30 from last month.

• HMS at $370 – $400 per gross ton, averaging $385, up $35 from last month.

 Editor’s note: SMU members can chart scrap prices as far back as 2007 using our interactive pricing tool.

By Ethan Bernard,

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