The subcontinent market is on an aggressive buying spree with Bangladesh leading the number game. It is closely being followed by Pakistan whereas end buyers from India are showing interest for few selective vessels only.
The industry is preparing itself for an extended Suez Canal blockage as over 200 vessels are stuck and waiting to transit. Market rates have started to react as owners are re-routing the tonnage.
Given the persistent demand worries and falling prices, expectations are growing that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, together called OPEC+, will roll over their current supply curbs into May at a meeting scheduled for April 1. OPEC and other producers had hoped to ease output cuts, but industry sources say a fresh wave of lockdowns around the world threatens to tear up those plans.
Many importers have temporarily stopped trading China-origin material due to news about possible reductions or even complete removal of China’s export tax rebate for steel products. The decision is expected to come around mid-April.
Malaysia has imposed a 15% export duty on ferrous scrap. The duty takes effect from 25 March 2021.
Recyclers are showing keen interest and offered competitive prices for their favored quality of tonnage specifically stainless-steel tankers. In comparison to the neighboring markets of Bangladesh and Pakistan, buying in India has been quite limited this week.
Despite the ongoing vaccination drive, the alarming surge in Coronavirus infections over the last two weeks in India has been the highest since the first wave in May 2020. Though we do not foresee the kind of lockdown experienced last year, but the surge in cases is a huge cause of concern for India at the moment.
The market fundamentals are quite strong in Bangladesh with firming steel prices which gives required boost to end buyers to offer high prices for securing tonnage. They are continually offering most competitive prices and are expected to maintain their momentum in the coming week.
Imported scrap trades via containers have gained momentum as availability of bulk offers has been limited. The mill owners will have to shell out premium price if they wish to restock with bulk cargoes.
The end buyers have understood that to secure quality tonnage, they need to up their game to match the prices being offered from Bangladesh. They are willing to offer aggressively for vessels with delivery within May 2021.
Containerized trades have improved significantly on the back of supported finished steel market sentiments and buyers restocking their inventory ahead of Ramadan.
Even with no fresh arrival in Aliaga this week, the yards continue to work at full capacity as most of the yards have scheduled deliveries for April and May.
Import scrap and Steel prices have been stable this week.
The Turkish Lira collapsed this week after dismissal of the Central Bank chief triggered concerns that the country is headed for a fresh bout of currency turbulence. It is currently trading at 8.02 per USD.
COVID-19 cases have been rapidly rising after the country started easing restrictions. The total case tally is now over 3.06 million while the death toll has reached over 30k.