Declining demand causes another ferrous drop

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Despite lower scale prices set in reaction to lower mill buying prices in the early May ferrous market, scrap has continued to flow into yards in the United States, with steady demolition activity among the contributors to a busy operating environment.

Processors in several regions in the U.S. tell Recycling Today Media Group that much of their processing machinery is running full bore, despite the uncertainty of export demand and slightly tapering melt shop output at U.S. steel mills.

Steelmakers in the U.S. produced 0.9 percent less steel in the week ending June 4 compared with the prior week, according to the Washington-based American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

In addition to the week-to-week decline in steel production, the weekly output of 1.78 million tons represented a 3.2 percent drop from the 1.84 million tons produced a year ago in the week ending June 4, 2021.

Year-to-date figures compiled by AISI show steel production through June 4 stands at 38.87 million tons. That is down 1.6 percent from the 39.52 million tons of steel made during the same period last year.

The early June domestic mill buying period seems to have reflected this partial lull, with Davis Index reporting that U.S. markets settled lower after that buying period, with prices down by $50 to $75 per ton, depending on the grade and region.

Davis Index says prompt grades fell some $75 per ton in value in the Chicago region. More commonly, they dropped by $50 or $55 per ton in other regions. No. 1 heavy melting steel (HMS) in Chicago, meanwhile, was “down [by] $55 per gross ton to $400 gross ton delivered,” Davis Index adds.