Scrap Prices Fall Again in October on Outages, Global Gloom

Written by Brett Linton

Steel Market Update sources report that ferrous scrap prices fell again in October. The drop marks the sixth consecutive month of declining scrap tags. Prime scrap prices fell an average of $45 per ton, while obsolete grades were relatively flat to down $25. 

Scrap sources attributed falling prices to weakening demand on both the domestic and international front.

Turkish prices might be higher, noted one scrap expert. But that’s not enough to counter a significant number of mill outages, year-end inventory concerns, and falling steel demand. All those factors “forced US prices down,” he said.

Our scrap prices for October are as follows:

• Busheling at $350–370 per gross ton, averaging $360, down $45 from last month
• Shredded at $370–390 per gross ton, averaging $380, down $25 from last month
• HMS at $310–330 per gross ton, averaging $320, up $5 from last month

One Northeast scrap executive said seasonality was also a factor in this month’s declines. “October is often a down month when mill business dries up before new cap ex planning for the following year begins to take shape,” he wrote, noting that the month is also characterized by mill maintenance outages. “Flows slow down this time of year as well, often helping the market to bottom. This year, we have recessionary pressures and less steel demand in the US to boot.”

Looking at the global scrap market, one expert remarked that the situation in Europe and Turkey continues to worsen, with many mills halting production because of rising energy costs. “Only demand out of India over the last few weeks has soaked up any US and European scrap supply surplus and supported global prices. Whether that continues to last is unknown,” he said.

Sources do not expect significant changes in the coming months. “We do expect more stable markets heading into the end of the year as we normally see, absent a black swan event happening between now and then,” one said. “It doesn’t look like they’ll be much change from here perhaps until January when price could seasonably rise,” said another.

Recall our scrap price indices in September were: Busheling at $380–430 per gross ton, averaging $405. Shred at $395–415 per gross ton, averaging $405. HMS at $300–330 per gross ton, averaging $315.

Don’t forget: In addition to our finished steel prices, you can chart scrap prices as far back as 2007 using SMU’s interactive pricing tool.

By Brett Linton,

The post Scrap Prices Fall Again in October on Outages, Global Gloom appeared first on Steel Market Update.

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