Sluggish Chinese domestic steel scrap prices mean there was a large gap between bids and offers for imports of steel scrap this week, market sources told Fastmarkets on Friday, Jan. 8.

Steel scrap: Sluggish domestic prices limit Chinese import deals

Chinese scrap import restrictions eased since early 2021

Chinese consumers have booked at least four bulk shipments of Japanese plate and structural (P&S) scrap – known as HS in Japan – since China eased its scrap import restrictions on Dec. 31.

Sources said these early deals are seen only as trial shipments by market participants dipping their toes into the new market.

Importers received offers as high as $500 per metric ton

China’s importers received offers for Japanese HS at $480-500 per tonne cfr this week, with bids as high as $450 per tonne cfr heard. There were even market rumors of a deal at $500 cfr China for P&S late Friday, but this could not be confirmed at press time.

According to market participants, China has been slow to make follow-on deals due to the large discrepancy between domestic prices and international scrap prices.


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