NEW YORK Many U.S.
ferrous scrap exporters have lowered buying prices at docks
along the East and West coasts amid falling offshore demand,
market participants say.
Buying prices have dropped $10
per gross ton across all grades, sources on both coasts said,
and some suggested that tags might fall for a second time in
the coming days.
Prices at the Los Angeles docks
dropped $10 on March 19, and at least one San Francisco
exporter followed suit March 20, cutting all tags by $10, West
Coast sources said.
"The drop is consistent with the
downturn in export pricescontainer and bulkhere on
the West Coast. Container prices have been eroding over the
last several weeks, and a $10 drop does not cover the total
downside," one source said.
"Bulk has been sporadic at best,
and those numbers are also softening. The difference is that
there is still a premium on bulk vs. container. That does not
mean all material is flowing to the docks," he said. "There are
still plenty of small shippers that utilize brokerage to ship
containers from their yards. Some are still shipping on older
One West Coast supplier said
prices offered by export docks remain higher than bids from
East Asian mills for containerized scrap. "Even with the price
drop, the export yards are paying more than container buyers.
So I expect that the shippers will continue to supply the
export yards," he said.
A second supplier said that one
Californian exporter had taken a few suppliers down $20 per
gross ton since the start of the month. AMM
understands that the additional $10 drop to some suppliers a
week ago pertained to specific container sale changes and was
Export docks in Seattle and
Portland, Ore., may not follow California with a $10 drop, as
one large exporter is scheduled to receive a vessel for
loading, another source said.
On the East Coast, exporters
have dropped buying prices by $10 at docks in Boston, New
Jersey, New York and Philadelphia, with others expected to
follow by the end of this week, sources said.
"The driving factor is lower
prices in Turkey," one East Coast exporter said. "The export
market did not go up as anticipated and freights went up, so we
got the double-whammy. The market is very thinly traded, so it
seems prudent to bring prices back in line with the current
"I think people are starting
with $10," a second East Coast source said. "I anticipate more
dropsat least another $10."