The price of light iron, the key ferrous scrap grade, has seen significant falls, with some businesses reporting a slump of up to £35 a tonne this year.
After a difficult 2016, the rates paid for loose light steel scrap, otherwise known as 5C, had recovered from lows of £15-£30 last spring to £70-£100 by the turn of the year.
However, merchants have told MRW that the main industry buyers, including EMR, Sims and Norton, have lopped off around £30 in three or four instalments.
One merchant in the south of England told MRW that, by Monday, he was accepting £65 a tonne for 5C and this had declined to £60 by Wednesday.
A Midlands dealer said he was getting £35 per tonne less for 5C than he had been in early January.
“Ferrous demand seems to have weakened, with Turkey pulling back on orders,” he said.
”The Chinese are in new year mode, so it will be well into February before we get a feel for things.”
The new range for 5C is reported to be £50-£70.
Those in other regions reported similar declines, reiterating lower demand for scrap in Turkey, the leading importer, as the main influence driving down all ferrous grades, but not as acutely as 5C.
The prices listed in MRW’s official website will be updated accordingly.