It is springtime in Northern Europe. March, April and May are usually the months with the highest levels of activity in the region’s ferrous scrap business, and sourcing of both shredder feed and HMS was healthy during March.
The Turkish steel scrap market is currently experiencing relatively stable prices. Since January, the spread between Turkish rebar sales prices and the buying prices for HMS 80/20 has been around US$ 165 per tonne - considerably narrower than in the first half of 2018 when the spread was close to US$ 200.
There is no doubt that Turkish buyers would like to see a widening of the spread between raw materials and finished goods. However, strong demand from the European markets and a rising trend in the USA are setting limits on how low prices can fall in the Turkish market.
Since January 24, prices for HMS 80/20 have been above US$ 300 per tonne and the current market balance is somewhere in the range between US$ 310 and US$ 325. At the same time, prices in Germany have increased by typically 4% to 8%.
Many enquiries for ferrous scrap are coming from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. These markets can easily be reached by container from Northern Europe, but there are also enquiries for bulk cargoes from Europe to India. Buyers in India and Pakistan are clearly keeping an eye on the prices in Turkey as changes there are almost immediately apparent in offers from here.
H.J.Hansen Genvindingsindustri A/S (DNK), Board Member of the BIR Ferrous Division