Scrap prices in Turkey are seen remaining firm on fresh bookings, while almost all scrap suppliers are eyeing higher levels.

Following the Baltic-origin sale on Monday at $384/tonne cfr Turkey for HMS 1&2 80:20, a fresh booking from the US was heard on Tuesday. A western Turkish mill bought the cargo, comprising 20,000 tonnes of shredded and 10,000t of bonus grade, at average $407/t cfr.

Although a western mill bought UK-origin HMS 1&2 80:20 at $387/t cfr over the weekend, these fresh bookings do not indicate a decline in prices.

One mill tells Kallanish: “The mills in southern Turkey, where the massive earthquake hit, are seen enjoying domestic scrap which has increased considerably with the removal of [earthquake] debris. The cargoes recently sold to southern mills contain shredded and mills give a premium to these cargoes as they need to mix debris scrap with shredded.”

Although no actual improvement is yet to be observed, sentiment is seen to have improved in the Turkish steel market after the introduction of the new cabinet and recent recovery seen in China’s steel market. However, most market participants remain cautious as they doubt the sustainability of the Chinese recovery.

“I think the postponed domestic market demand will come to the fore in the near future. I am expecting to see stronger demand and higher scrap prices,” says a scrap supplier.

However, most market participants do not expect prices to reach $400/t cfr levels, at least within this week, but they think price increases are likely to be limited to $3-5/t.

Another supplier says: “It is too early to talk about $400/t cfr levels today. First of all, steel demand has to resume and people have to see actual positive developments. There is hope now but we have to see the actual recovery.”

US suppliers are seen targeting to sell HMS 1&2 80:20 at above $395/t cfr Turkey this week, while European merchants are seeking prices close to $390/t cfr. Short-sea suppliers have increased their target to $370/t cfr.

Questioning higher price targets, a mill source says: “I don’t understand where this supplier optimism is coming from. Scrap prices in the US are falling, European mills are preparing to decrease their buying prices and there is no other market where scrap prices are increasing.”

Meanwhile, the lira’s depreciation has accelerated after the finalisation of presidential elections, hampering confidence. While end-users are yet to return, rebar demand remained moderate on Tuesday amid stockist demand mainly driven by the depreciation of the lira. Prices stood at $640-650/t ex-works, with the lira at 21.49 per dollar at business close on Tuesday.