Scrap prices in the US have recorded a sharp increase during March trading, which kicked off last week. This is the fourth consecutive increase in prices following a long-lasting downward trend last year, notes Kallanish.

A Detroit mill took the lead and entered into the market with a bid exceeding $100/gross ton up versus February for busheling. Consequently, other mills in the region bidding for the same grade at lower levels, around $60-70/gt up on February, failed to secure material. The last time busheling prices rose by $100/gt was a year ago. Midwest shredded prices rose by $60/gt, while HMS increased by more than $30/gt from February.

The price increases in the South were more modest, at $60/gt for busheling and $50/gt for shredded.

Scrap prices have seen support from exports, improved order books and higher steel prices in the US, as expected. Early predictions are towards another strong month in April, meanwhile.

On the West Coast, offers for US-origin HMS 1&2 80:20 scrap rose to $435/tonne cfr Taiwan last week, with bids at $425/t cfr. Small volumes, ranging from a few hundred to a thousand tonnes, were traded at $425/t cfr. However, US sellers turned to the Turkish market, thereby limiting supplies to Taiwan. As a result, Taiwanese buyers have lessened their interest in purchasing container scrap from the US and directed their purchases to Japan-origin bulk scrap.

On the East Coast, most US suppliers that were targeting to sell HMS 1&2 80:20 at above $460/t cfr Turkey failed to achieve these values last week. A single booking at $462/t from the US was confirmed last week but participants did not find this representative of the market. Baltic-origin bookings stood mostly at $456-457/t cfr for premium HMS 1&2 80:20.

On Monday, a northern Turkish mill is confirmed to have booked Canada-origin HMS 1&2 95:5 at $475/t cfr, with HMS 1&2 80:20 corresponding to around $463-465/t cfr. However, this mill pays higher for freight as it is located in the north, on the Black Sea, with the Ukraine war raging nearby. The same supplier is heard to have sold the same grade to a southern Turkish mill on Friday at $472/t cfr, with HMS 1&2 80:20 equivalent to $460-461/t cfr.

Although some market participants were expecting a softening in prices due to the large number of offers in the market, scrap prices in Turkey are seen keeping their strength.