Following the announcement of scrap export duties in the United Arab Emirates, major local scrap buyers – the mills – reduced their scrap purchase prices by AED 75/tonne ($20.4) on-week, effective 27 January.

They are expecting the new regulation to make UAE-origin scrap less attractive in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Containerised scrap exports to Pakistan nevertheless continue in meaningful quantities, notes Kallanish.

Local scrap suppliers and buyers are wondering how the new export duty of AED 400/t on ferrous scrap will affect the market and whether it will deter sellers from exports.

This week in UAE, HMS 80:20 grade scrap is being transacted at AED 1,225/t, fabrication at AED 1,320/t, light and HMS blended scrap at AED 1,050/t, and HMS sheared at AED 1,325/t. These prices exclude VAT and are delivered to the buyer's yard.

"Some time ago, the steel scrap export tariff was AED 250/tonne, and there was supervision and enforcement. Due to that, they imposed a scrap export ban, which did not bring any change, and smuggling continued in different ways. Now, the tariff has been introduced again and we wonder how it will be enforced," comments a senior billet mill official.

Local supply-driven merchant billet producers in UAE and Oman raised their billet prices by $10/t following the announcement of a rebar price increase by the benchmark mill in Abu Dhabi. Induction-route billet producers in the UAE raised their target prices to $550-560/t ex-works, while in Oman, the electric arc furnace-route merchant billet producer is targeting $550/t delivered within Oman or to Dubai-based customers.

On the other hand, the integrated mill in Oman has cut its price for rebar grade billet for end- February/early-March delivery to $535-540/t fob or delivered within the country. It is eyeing export supply to North Africa or Latin America. Iranian-origin 12mm billet offers are at $520-525/t delivered to buyer's yard in Oman and UAE for late-February/March delivery. 

A local rebar re-roller in Dubai issued an enquiry for 15,000-20,000 tonnes of particular size SAE 1018 grade billet for early-March delivery.