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Kallanish Kallanish

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April, 23rd 2019

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APR 10
19:08

US ferrous scrap prices dip as demand eases

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US scrap prices continue to dip after bouncing back in March as demand is not exerting upward pressure.

One Mid-Atlantic source tells Kallanish that shredded steel dropped $10/short ton to $185/st in the past week. Another source in the same region reported no change in incoming volume.

“There’s not much change in the amount that's coming into the yard at this point," he says.

One Ohio dealer reports that cut grades are down $25/st over the past week.

“The mills have a good working inventory right now so demand is not high. I’m seeing HMS down $25/st to $206/st and plate and structural is at $230/st,” he says. “Sometimes prices go down and stay, sometimes they go up and stay. Right now we are seeing a lot of fluctuation in the market from seasonal cycles and market ripples.”

In a second quarter earnings call last week, president of Schnitzer Steel Products Tamara Lundgren attributed downward pressure on domestic scrap in part to softer prices for flat steel products. She also says that while the current market is trending downward, the long-term outlook for scrap is bright.

“Long-term trends have translated into scrap usage significantly outpacing the growth in steel production in some of the largest steel manufacturing countries, including China, Japan, Russia and the US. We completed our three-year plan to increase our ferrous volumes by 25-30% a year early, reaching 4.3 million st at the end of fiscal 2018,” she says.