September Scrap Prices Expectations Sideways or Rising

Written by Brett Linton

Steel Market Update sources expect ferrous scrap prices to be sideways or rise slightly going into September. The move would potentially end the four-month streak of declines seen since the spring’s record high tags. Obsolete grades are anticipated to remain relatively stable from August to September, while prime scrap is expected to increase $20-$30 per gross ton.

“Shredder feed flows have slowed since July, providing some support [to prices],” said one Northeast scrap executive. “Prime grades could see higher pricing to correct the unsustainable discount to shredded that happened in August.”

Another source shared similar thoughts, commenting, “inbound flows are off and shredders are already raising prices. Rumor has it that the big consumers will be restocking scrap inventories in September.”

One scrap expert said, “the trade is seeking a sideways market. If the mill buyers were smart, they’d go along with this since things have really weakened over the last 3-4 months.” They expect prices to firm up in September or October.

Looking at the global scrap market, one executive commented that both US and overseas markets are improving, with both generally stable to slightly stronger since the middle of this month.

We will report on the final scrap figures for next month around the second week of September.

Recall that SMU scrap price indices in August were: Busheling was $410-460 per ton, averaging $435. Shred stood at $415-435 per ton, averaging $425. HMS was $300-340 per ton, averaging $320.

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,

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