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MARKETS: Ferrous weekly round up 1 February

Home steelworks are all strong buyers and as reported last week, Celsa increased prices for most grades by £8 per tonne.

Since then, there has been some confusion in the trade with one of the other major mills putting prices up by £10 per tonne, whilst none of the Midland foundries buying out of S. Wales has moved.

At the same time, exporters have increased their dockside prices by £4 or £5 per tonne, but with new orders hard to source, stringent quality controls and low prices from mills in India, they are still lagging behind home steelworks on price.

All sectors of the trade report low stocks and abysmal yard intakes with heavy construction and new production steel particularly short.

Many firms are struggling with a shortage of raw materials and ever diminishing yard intakes. Quality is also posing problems with at least 40 containers refused and returned to the UK by Indonesian mills.

These containers, sourced in the Midlands, represent only a small part of the total tonnage shipped, but if more are returned, the difficulty may well spread to other areas in the UK.

To add to our worries, the UK Environment Agency is now concerned about more contamination by snakes and or spiders whilst they were held in Indonesian ports. The name of the firm that shipped the suspect containers cannot be divulged but the management is firmly convinced that quality is not the problem.

A spokesperson commented, “There is nothing wrong with the scrap it must be a misunderstanding about grades.

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