ferrous prices

Miller on Ferrous: An improving market ahead?

Written by Stephen Miller

After returning from the ISRI2024 convention, now known as ReMA, the general feeling among the ferrous sector is one of an improving market for recycled iron and steel.

It’s certainly not a runaway market situation, especially when the industry is in the amidst of “spring cleanup”, when scrap flows improve after winter ebbs. The expectation is obsolescent scrap will be sideways to up slightly while production scrap should rise considerably more. The initial predictions are that busheling should be up about $20/gt and maybe more.

As we have seen with other indicators, there appears to be a strengthening trend afoot. The recent transactions in the export arena show a resistance to lower prices even as Turkish rebar sales have languished. In fact, the most recent sales of HMS from North America have inched up into the high $380’s while Northern European tags have held steady a few dollars below.

The pig iron markets that supply the U.S. are also retaining their worth after an upward correction of about $20/mt earlier this year. This has increased the spread between prime scrap and the pig iron to a level where busheling increases in May could be justified.

Referring to the contributing article on steel emissions by Alan Price and Ted Brackemyre, I wonder how many of us on the recycling side really knew a sliding scale was in force to evaluate compliance with acceptable carbon emissions? I hate to admit, I did not. Thanks to this informative article, we all do now.

Considering the tremendous investments that have been made and will continue to be made in technologies designed to reduce carbon emissions, a sliding scale does not seem rational. We could certainly benefit for more feedback on this important subject.

And we would welcome it from our readers.

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