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MARKETS: Ferrous weekly round up 15 February

No improvement in the past week but local mills and exporters are still buying all the usual grades. Despite this, stock shortages still pose serious problem for all sectors of the trade. Intakes from demolition sites and new production scrap ex-factory are very slow but intakes of mixed scrap from itinerant collectors are even worse with many of the smaller firms blaming the ban on cash purchases.

One MD said, “Instead of us, they can sell to rivals that are paying cash illegally but even more have moved their business to large firms that can afford to install on-site cheque cashing facilities”.

Export prospects have not improved and despite a serious shortage of all grades, dockside prices may have begun to ease. Boxes are faring better than complete cargoes, but there have been rejections and stringent attention to quality is paramount in all cases.

Many firms are hard pressed to find enough raw materials to run processing machinery for more than a few hours per week and costs are escalating.

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