The steel scrap market is down $10-$15/Ton this month as we move into the summer months. Softer markets are generally expected this time of year as the weather warms up and available scrap tonnage increases scrap flows to steel consumers. Mills often schedule maintenance downtimes during the summer months too disrupting the relationship between scrap supply and new steel demand. This coupled with the lack of exports on both the East and West Coasts have left domestic mills with some scrap surplus despite ongoing reports of steady new steel demand. Many hope that this will place us at or near the bottom of the market which is poised to rise if scrap flows remain constant and demand increases. The demand on new steel, both domestically and globally, will be a large determining factor for scrap markets over the next few months.
Exports have quieted down on the East Coast making exports practically non-existent on that side of the country. Asian market too are weaker than Domestic offerings on most steel scrap grades keeping much of the available scrap domestic.
Prices on nonferrous metals have continued their tumultuous roller coaster ride as prices on aluminum, copper, and nickel all increased steadily through the middle of May and have begin their decent to finish the month with only minor gains. Aluminum has retained its price strength the longest over the past 30 days, up 4.5% from the beginning of May. Copper prices peaked in mid May, up 5%, but have since retracted back to a marginal gain of only 0.5% moving into June. Nickel prices saw a surge of 16% during May but they too have cooled down and retained only a 3.2% gain over the benchmark 30 days ago.
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