UNITED STATES October 10 2016 4:36 PM
EW YORK (Scrap Register): September prices of US shredded scrap were volatile again, fluctuating $17 a long ton between the lowest and highest points of the month. Prices ended at $219 a long ton, down 7.2% across the month, reported the Steel Index.
Buy week began mills attempting to bring down prices as much as $20/long ton for their September purchases. Scrap flow was slow but demand was also lower, with prices declining $14 a long ton.
The second week of September saw prices US Midwest scrap drop to $221 a long ton. Steel producers in the region noted continued weak finished steel demand in September, which continues to impact scrap usage.
Imported obsolete scrap continues to enter the Gulf, providing headwinds to raise domestic prices. Dealers have discussed reducing scale rates to combat low prices.
September-end saw steel output maintaining its sub-70% utilisation rate due to tepid end-user demand. Service center inventories for finished steel also declined with buyers unwilling to commit to purchases until they felt flat steel prices had reached a bottom.
The combination of low mill utilisation rates, coupled with reduced flows of scrap for dealers and a strong US dollar, have ensured this remains a difficult operating environment for recyclers and dealers alike.