US February scrap trading kicked off towards the end of last week at higher prices for all grades, Kallanish notes.

Although early bids in the Midwest were up by $20/gross ton from the previous month, scrap suppliers managed to conclude deals at around $30/gt higher for prime grades and shredded after a later round of bidding.

The scrap market has found support from increasing export prices, harsh weather conditions and ongoing tight supply, as well as increasing steel prices.

While prices are not yet fully settled and trading continued on Friday, some market participants find even higher prices achievable.

On the US West Coast, the Taiwanese market returned strongly from the Spring Festival holiday last week. US-origin containerised HMS 1&2 80:20 offers are seen to have increased above $425/tonne cfr Taiwan on Monday, following deals at $410-420/t cfr last week.

On the East Coast, Turkish mills’ demand for scrap remained strong last week with numerous scrap bookings in the market. Premium HMS 1&2 80:20 prices in the latest bookings stood at $425-428/t cfr levels. Two US-origin HMS 1&2 80:20 cargoes were then offered at $430-432/t cfr, while Turkish mills resisted prices at above $430/t.

The market expects a slowdown in Turkish scrap demand as mills have almost covered their requirements for March-shipment cargoes. Two major earthquakes, resulting in thousands dying on Monday, have meanwhile hampered sentiment in Turkey.