Scrap Prices North America

US Busheling, Shred Tags Level Off in August, HMS Up

Written by Ethan Bernard

The US scrap market showed some stability in August, with prices mostly sideways on busheling and shredded grades, and HMS prices ticking up from the previous month, sources said.

“The August market continued the relatively stable trend we had in July, despite some recent weakness in Turkey that has pressured the export market,” one scrap source said. 

He said that shred and prime were sideways across the board, while No. 1 HMS and plate and structural grades traded anywhere from sideways to up $20 per gross ton (GT) depending on the region.

Another source agreed: “It my understanding that prices were sideways on busheling in all districts. But in the Ohio Valley and the Southeast, shredded was mixed — meaning some mills bought sideways, while others were up $10-20/GT.” 

The first source said the US market is more of a “bubble for now, with tight supply and decent demand for scrap vs. the global market, which remains weak.”  

“I think we will be a little choppy for the next few months, but in a reasonably tight trading range around where we find ourselves today,” the first source said. 

Regarding the near-term outlook, a third source said the market is, and will be, in a loose balance through September with “low demand matching tight supply.”  

“Prices should trade in a tight pattern, not changing much in either direction,” the third source said. Likewise, he also pointed to exports. “The only real caveat is export remaining stable.”

“We could easily trade lower next month and in October, but that’s not for certain,” the first source said, noting a lot will depend on what happens with inflows and mill order books, “which don’t look that great in a falling steel price environment.”

SMU has August scrap prices standing at:

• Busheling at $430-470 per gross ton, averaging $450, up $5 from the previous month.

• Shredded at $370-410 per gross ton, averaging $390, unchanged from the previous month.

• HMS at $310-350 per gross ton, averaging $330, up $20 from the previous month.

Ethan Bernard

Read more from Ethan Bernard

Latest in Scrap Prices North America