US Scrap Prices Sink in June on Weak Demand

Domestic scrap prices continued to tumble this month on soft demand and strong inbound scrap flows, but the market could come into balance in July, sources said.

“After this more-than-expected drop in prices for June, the market next month should be sideways at worst,” one source said. He noted that the export market remains firm and the drop in shredded prices in June equalized price domestically and internationally.  

“So, if export goes up, so will the US,” the source added.

Another source, describing June trading, said the region that was overpriced in May was out buying shred and prime grades at down $60 per gross ton and plate and structural at down $50 per gross ton. 

“They were $20-40 above other regions last month, so this move is a price correction,” the second source said.

He said that mills that were paying less last month had less leverage to lower prices, “but other regions will be weaker too.” 

A third source detailed the regional trades this month.

“Prices in the Ohio Valley all dropped to varying degrees, whereas prices in Cleveland and Pittsburgh are essentially the same for each grade,” he said. 

Looking ahead, the third source was broadly in agreement that the market should level out in July.

“The expectation for July is the market should plateau as supply/demand come into balance,” the third source said.

With scrap prices settled, SMU’s June tags stood at:

• Busheling at $440-480 per gross ton, averaging $460, off $50 from the previous month.

• Shredded at $390-420 per gross ton, averaging $405, down $50 from the previous month.

• HMS at $290-320 per gross ton, averaging $305, dropping $30 from the previous month.

Editor’s note: SMU members can chart scrap prices as far back as 2007 using our interactive pricing tool.

By Ethan Bernard,

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