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Ferrous Prices

At the time of going to press it is too early to say what home steel works prices for next month will be but there is a general consensus that they look set to rise in line with the increased export prices which have been seen over recent weeks.

News that global steel prices are expected to rise by up to a third on account of miners and steelmakers agreeing on a change to the iron ore pricing system, is also likely to have an impact.

Most merchants will not be working over the extended Easter break, so it is unlikely that any firm prices will be finalised prior to the middle of next week. In the same vein as previous weeks, there continues to be a marked lack of available material.

North East
Lack of material continues to be a problem in the region as everyone is competing for what little is available. Most merchants expect prices to rise again next month in line with export prices which have been driven up by demand from abroad, the weak currency and marked scrap shortages. The increasing export prices continue to make trading difficult as merchants do not want to agree firm deals in case of further rises.

North West
Merchants are looking forward to the prospect of the extended weekend off over the Easter break, against the backdrop of hardening prices over the first quarter. With the prospect of more upwards movement in April, it is only the limited availability of traded inwards scrap that causes some degree of concern.

Increased export prices have brought slightly more material out of the woodwork but on the whole supplies of scrap continue to be scarce. Most merchants are expecting home steel works prices to go up at the start of next month, in line with the increased export prices. There is speculation that this could be by as much as around £50 per tonne. Demand is still strong from the likes of India, China and Turkey as everyone fights for what little material is around.

Traders are reporting a similar situation to last week with everybody eagerly waiting to see what happens when home steel works prices settle and come in line with export prices at the start of next month. A few merchants in the region will be having a week off over the Easter break, so the new prices could be available as early as this week. One merchant commented: Fixing prices is a bit like playing cat and mouse at the moment with everyone waiting to see what other people are doing. There are still shortages of every grade of material.

Not much has changed compared to last week, with everyone waiting to see what happens with the home markets at the start of April. It is expected that next months prices will rise, given the increasing export prices that have been present throughout March. Demand from abroad continues to be strong despite the ongoing lack of material which seems to be commonplace at the moment.

South Wales
In total, export prices are now around £45 per tonne higher than they were at the beginning of March, and with dockside prices still rising there is enormous pressure on local steelworks. However, the market is very uncertain, and no one is quite sure as to the direction it may take. If foreign demand drops dramatically prices may fall quickly, but if current demand and price levels are maintained, local steelworks will have to raise their prices to the same level or continue to receive nothing. In either case, yard intakes are not getting any better and deliveries to wharves and dockside collection areas are not as high as would be normally expected.


Prices are creeping ever higher and there have been small increases in the tonnage available to exporters. But, given the attractive price levels it is still well below what they would normally expect. Whats more, with very few firms willing to risk stockpiling, this can only be attributed to ongoing raw material shortages. As before, the premium grades are scarcest, but the reduction in tonnage from car breakers is also having an adverse effect on the lighter grades required by shredder operators. Despite the healthy demand, many yards are barely ticking over.


Broken Foundry Cast iron


Foundry Short Steel


 Grade 0A heavy structural and plate


Grade 1 old steel


 Grade 2 old steel


 Grade 4C new production steel bales


Grade 5C loose light steel scrap


Grade 6B loose incinerated scrap


 Grade 7B mixed steel turnings


Grade 8B mixed steel cuttings


 Grade 9 heavy cast iron


Grade 10 Light cast iron


Grade 11 cast iron borings


 Grade 12A new production heavy steel scrap


 Car and Lorry engines




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