The decline the export price for steel scrap beginning at the middle and end of January had already dampened scrap sellers’ expectations for price negotiations with steelmakers in February. However, the level of the price discounts demanded by the mills at the beginning of this month took market participants by surprise. Mills were offering prices of up to €40 less than in the prior month. Merchants refused to accept these cuts. As a result, negotiations dragged out, continuing in some cases until the beginning of this week.
It was only the recent increase in export prices which had prevented domestic steel scrap prices from falling further. Merchant selling to Turkish buyers reported an increase in scrap demand. Production stoppages in China and concerns about delivery delays due to the Coronavirus are currently improving sales opportunities in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa for Turkish steel manufactures, market insiders told EUWID. The strengthening of the dollar against the euro also meant that Turkish buyers were buying steel scrap preferentially in Europe and the Baltic states.
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The report will also appear in EUWID Recycling & Wastemangement issue 5/2020 on 4 March.