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Ferrous prices tumble as eurozone crisis bites

Ferrous prices have dropped significantly in the last couple of weeks, with merchants across the UK blaming the eurozone crisis.

Prices across all ferrous categories are down in June - on average about £35 per tonne from May.

Scrap traders pointed to low levels of demand caused by the eurozone crisis and a strong pound.

A gloomy mood has descended in the industry.

“A third has come off prices in the last two to three weeks,” said one merchant in the North-east.

“Frag operators are saying there is no demand. One exporter said they had no shippings since Christmas.”

Some merchants said business slowed over the bank holiday period and had not yet picked up.

A Midlands-based operator said prices had been tumbling.

“There’s a lack of demand, and uncertainty about the eurozone is probably stopping people committing. They don’t want to pay too much,” he said.

Another said the slow export market was not likely to improve in the short term.

“The holiday period is coming up and countries like Turkey and Spain don’t really buy, so there won’t be so much export.”

Steel mills are understood to have slashed prices across all categories, with the drop likely to be passed on to merchants, although several are still negotiating.

One merchant reported that he had been asked to phone for prices before delivery.

For more information on prices see next week’s MRW.

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