Prime Scrap Prices Flat in October, Other Grades Edge Down

Written by Ethan Bernard

Prime scrap prices were unchanged in October, following a large Detroit-area buyer’s lead, according to market sources.

“Prime scrap was generally sideways as mills did not want to miss any at what will likely be the last, best buying opportunity for prime scrap this year,” one scrap source said.

However, the market developed unevenly across the country. Shredded fell between $10 and $20 month over month: -$10 in the East, -$10 in the South, and -$20 in Ohio, he said.

Cut grades were generally sideways in the East, the source said. But plate and structural seemed to be in better supply than #1 HMS, he added.

Looking ahead, another source said: “I don’t think the mills can take down scrap further in November.”

He said there is also dealer resistance to the October prices. “Most dealers want to take an order in November that will last them through December.”  

The second source said the dealers “know winter scrap flows will dwindle, and the scrap market in January usually goes up.”

On the exports front, the first source said export pricing is drifting amid a lack of demand for Turkish rebar. 

“We have seen prices move marginally lower so far,” he said. “But scrap flows are tight so I don’t expect any major downward moves.”

October Scrap Settlement

Our October scrap prices stood at:

  • Busheling at $380-420 per gross ton, averaging $400, unchanged from September.
  • Shredded at $350-390 per gross ton, averaging $370, down $20 from September.
  • HMS at $300-340 per gross ton, averaging $320, down $10 from September.

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