Shippers are able to get from $10 to $22 more per ton for ferrous scrap grades in August.
A demand for ferrous scrap just healthy enough to outpace supply contributed to another rise in prices in August, with mills paying from $10 to $22 per ton depending on the grade and region. To view the August numbers click on the link)
The increases for August were smaller than the $50 to $80 per ton increases seen in July, but they continued a positive trend in ferrous scrap pricing.
Spot market buyers, as indicated by transaction pricing compiled by Management Science Associates Inc. (MSA) for its Raw Material Data Aggregation Service (RMDAS), paid $318 per ton on average for prompt industrial composite grades in August.
That grade, which includes new production scrap such as #1 busheling, #1 bundles and #1 factory bundles, rose by $22 per ton on average nationally.
Prices for prompt grades and the other two grades with averages calculated by RMDAS (#2 Shredded Scrap and #1 Heavy Melting Steel) stayed most stable in the RMDAS North Central/East region, where they rose from just $10 to $16 per ton. That region includes mills in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin and the northwest corner of Indiana.
The August boost in prices helped prompt grades to poke through the $300 per ton ceiling, a level that has not been reached since September of 2008, when prices were on their way down from the historic peak reached in the spring and summer of 2008.
Recyclers in North America have continued to report restrained supply for shredder feedstock and other grades, although some have reported noticeable (if slight) upticks in both industrial scrap and auto hulks.
Global demand for scrap has continued to rise month-over-month throughout most of 2009, as portrayed by crude steel production figures aggregated by the Brussels-based World Steel Association (Worldsteel, at www.worldsteel.org).
Crude steel production in July 2009 for the 66 countries reporting to Worldsteel) was 103.9 million metric tons, marking the highest monthly production figure this year.
The July total jumped by more than 4 million metric tons compared to June production, which checked in at slightly less than 100 million metric tons. Compared to July 2008, the world’s steel production was 11 percent lower in July 2009. That comparison is relatively encouraging compared to the year-to-date drop in global production of 20 percent.
China’s crude steel production for July 2009 was 50.7 million metric tons, 12.6 percent higher than July 2008. It is the first time ever that China has produced more than 50 million metric tons of crude steel in one month, and the total accounted for nearly 50 percent of global steel production in July. Since April 2009, both the world and China’s crude steel production have shown a steady month on month increase.
In July, almost all the major steel-producing nations – including China, Japan, Germany, the United States, Brazil, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine – demonstrated their highest monthly figures so far in 2009.
The Raw Material Data Aggregation Service (RMDAS) Ferrous Scrap Price Index is based on data gathered from a statistically significant compilation of verified ferrous scrap purchase transactions.
RMDAS is a service of Management Science Associates Inc. (MSA), Pittsburgh. Those seeking more information about RMDAS can contact MSA’s Ralph Pinkert at 773-588-1199 or via e-mail at RPinkert@MSA.com.