Scrap Prices North America

HRC vs. busheling scrap spread narrows further in March

Written by Ethan Bernard

The spread between hot-rolled coil (HRC) and prime scrap prices has narrowed for the third consecutive month in March, according to SMU’s most recent pricing data.

SMU’s average HRC price was flat this week, while the average price for busheling scrap dropped steeply from February.

Our average HRC price stands at $815 per short ton (st) as of March 12, even with the previous week.

Meanwhile, busheling tags slumped $45 per gross ton (gt) to an average of $410/gt in February. Figure 1 shows price histories for each product.

After converting scrap prices to dollars per short ton for an equal comparison, the differential between HRC and busheling scrap prices is $449/st as of March 13 off $85 from a month earlier (Figure 2). This is the third straight month it’s narrowed, having stood at $594 in the middle of December.

By the way, did you know SMU’s Interactive Pricing Tool can show steel and scrap prices in dollars per short ton, dollars per metric ton, and dollars per gross ton?

Figure 3 explores this relationship differently: We have graphed HRC’s premium over busheling scrap as a percentage. HRC prices now carry a 99% premium over prime scrap, down from 107% a month ago. We have to go to the middle of October to find a premium under 100%.

Ethan Bernard

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