Japanese steelmaker Tokyo Steel this week continued to lift ferrous scrap purchase prices at Utsunomiya plant on rising global scrap prices and stable domestic scrap demand ahead of the Obon festival in August.
Tokyo Steel increased scrap collection prices for the Utsunomiya plant by ¥500/t ($4.76/t) for all grades from 28 July. The steelmaker kept scrap prices unchanged for its other mills. H2 scrap is now priced at ¥21,000/t and ¥20,500/t delivered to the Utsunomiya and Tahara plants, respectively.
Many other domestic mills located in the Kanto region also increased their scrap collection prices by ¥500/t this week to boost scrap flow. Tokyo Steel’s listed price was among the lowest in the Kanto region. Most Japanese domestic electric arc furnace mills purchased H2 scrap at ¥23,000-23,500/t, a similar level to the current fas Tokyo Bay price.
The H2 fas Tokyo Bay price was at ¥23,000-23,500/t today, while HS and Shindachi were at ¥24,500-26,000/t.
Japanese export business slowed in the past week in response to the yen’s appreciation against the dollar from ¥107 to ¥105. Exporters targeted prices at ¥25,000/t fob or higher for H2.
Cargoes had to cost $5/t more today in order to match the equivalent price in yen from one week ago, increasing difficulty to do business with Vietnam and Taiwan where scrap buyers purchase in US dollars.
This caused more traders to focus on South Korea as contracts for that market are denominated in yen. But South Korean buyers resisted any further price gains and H2 bid levels remained at ¥24,000/t fob with many offers available.
Japanese domestic sub-suppliers were not in a rush to sell this week because of the slow scrap collection process and sustained domestic demand. They expect another round of restocking activity from domestic mills after the long holiday. Most market participants anticipate that Japanese scrap prices will stay firm throughout August.