TURKEY April 07 2017 12:04 PM
ANKARA (Scrap Register): Turkish HMS 1/2 80:20 scrap import monthly average prices (CFR Iskenderun Port, Turkey) rose by nearly 9 percent month-on-month to $286.10 a ton during the month of March, as per the latest figures from the Steel Index.
March was somewhat of a roller-coaster month for prices of imported HMS 80:20 1&2 into Turkey. March was a story of two halves for Turkish scrap prices, with the first half seeing prices rise 7.1% to reach $303 a ton. Prices stayed around this level for about a week before dropping to a low of $263 a ton at the back end of the month.
Sentiment out of the IREPAS conference, held in Budapest at the end of the month, was fairly optimistic for scrap prices moving forward, but increased volatility in the market was raised as a concern.
Demand for scrap has remained healthy, with a large number of trades happening over the month as well as strong fundamentals across the steel complex boosting orders of scrap from the mills. The spread of scrap to rebar has also widened in recent weeks, and was over $160 a ton towards the end of the month. This has given the mills plenty of reason to keep buying material.
The macroeconomic picture out of Turkey remains uncertain. The referendum in April may well cause further turmoil in a country that has seen significant political and social tension in recent months. The impact this will have on the Lira, and on the demand for scrap, remains to be seen. It is however a point of concern for those involved in the Turkish scrap market.
Prices at the start of the month rocketed up to $303 a ton, a 32.9% rise since the start of February. Sell side pressure and strong demand pushed offers up, with mills having little choice but to accept the higher offers. Rising rebar prices did however offer some relief to the mills, who seemed able to maintain workable margins.
Once prices had broken through the $300 a ton threshold a degree of uncertainty hit the market and prices rapidly moved lower, falling $23 a ton for the week ending March 24. Cargoes from the US, Baltic and the Benelux region all proved these lower levels, with the market bottoming out at $263 a ton, before seeing a slight rebound at the end of the month.
The TSI BOF-EAF cost model indicates the two production routes are currently near parity in terms of total cost per tonne of crude steel. This may well drive more demand for scrap from Turkish mills, agreeing with the sentiment of a couple of market sources who commented that the market has room to move higher.