truck with metal scrap

Ferrous scrap prices tumble in March

Written by Ethan Bernard

US ferrous scrap prices fell steeply in March for HMS, shredded, and prime scrap, sources told SMU.

“The March ferrous market was considerably softer due in general to better-than-expected inflows in February, less demand from US mills thanks to falling finished steel prices, and less demand from lackluster markets overseas,” one scrap source said. 

The declines were generally in line with the Detroit-area steelmaker’s offers reported last week, another source said.

“I don’t expect improvement in April, but I also don’t expect nearly as a dramatic drop in prices next month,” the first source said.  

He noted that export prices may be near a bottom “and by comparison, US delivered mill prices for shred are in line with overseas pricing.”

A third source said, “The fact the prime scrap is selling at prices the same or even less than shredded scrap, leads me to believe this situation won’t last very long.”

SMU’s March scrap pricing stands at:

  • Busheling at $400-420 per gross ton (gt), averaging $410, down $45 from February.
  • Shredded at $390-415/gt, averaging $402.50, down $52.50 from February.
  • HMS at $310-340/gt, averaging $325, down $50 from February.

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