June Scrap Prices Fall $50-75/Ton, July Expectations Lower

Written by Brett Linton

Steel Market Update sources report ferrous scrap prices declined from May to June, dropping further from the record high prices seen in March and April. Prime grades declined between $55-75 per gross ton, with obsolete grades down $50-70 per ton.

This puts the SMU price indices for scrap as follows: Busheling scrap at $600-670 per ton, averaging $635. Shredded scrap at $450-480 per ton, averaging $465. Heavy melt scrap at $370-420 per ton, averaging $395.

“There were numerous early June scrap purchases done at $50/GT less than May levels,” said one scrap executive. “But after the first several transactions, prices mainly on prime grades settled at down $75/GT.” A second source agreed, commenting prime scrap was down $70-75 per ton throughout most of the country.

Regarding future outlooks and foreign markets, a Northeast scrap exec commented, “Despite many (including me) thinking that June would prove to be the bottom for scrap prices, we have seen continued weakness since the June trade in the export market.” He listed causes such as Covid lockdowns in China, the South Korean trucking strike, the weakening Turkish Lira, and inflation. “Demand in some other regions has popped up, but it’s not been enough to stabilize prices,” he added.

Another source noted that scrap export options are lessening for US dealers, as Turkey is buying less material and price offers are weakening.

“Ultimately, for US scrap dealers, we will hit the bottom when flows slow substantially. That’s happening but will take some more time. The other factor that will impact us is the dearth of pig iron and ferrous coming into the US at this point (despite mills saying they are covered). So some of this is structural with export weakness and some is seasonal. (We typically bottom in June or July as summer kicks into gear.) I imagine that will happen again.”

A third scrap executive agreed that the US market is looking weaker for July. He also commented that pig iron prices are easing, but remain at elevated levels.

Recall that scrap prices saw the largest monthly increase in our history in March, with shredded scrap trading up $125 per ton to $600/GT and prime scrap up $170 per ton to $700/GT. Prime scrap rose another $75 per ton in April, while shred was unchanged. In May scrap prices declined by $75 per ton, putting busheling at $700/GT and shred at $525/GT. Prices had declined in January and February before the Ukraine-Russia war.

PSA: You can chart out scrap prices as far back as 2007 using SMU’s interactive pricing tool.

By Brett Linton,

The post June Scrap Prices Fall $50-75/Ton, July Expectations Lower appeared first on Steel Market Update.

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