LME scrap futures contracts saw highest daily volume traded on Aug. 2 on the London Metal Exchange since its launch, while weekly trading volumes reached two-year high.
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In addition, near term scrap and rebar futures contracts saw strong gains over the week to Aug. 4.
Platts assessed the August contract up $14.50/mt to $364.50/mt, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights data. The September contract gained $35.50/mt on the week to $380/mt, while the October contract jumped $38/mt to $377.50/mt.
The backwardated structure over the August-September portion of the forward curve shifted into a strong contango on week, suggesting that futures traders expect near-term physical prices to strengthen.
The backwardation over the September-October portion of the curve softened on the week.
Spot prices for physical imports of premium heavy melting scrap 1/2 (80:20) rose $15/mt on the week to $365/mt CFR Turkey on Aug. 4, as Turkish mills looked to restock but recyclers held firm.
"The Turks would like to buy scrap in the $350s/mt CFR range, but there are no sellers around -- all suppliers are concentrated on the Far East, and after adding the difference in freight, those markets are still paying a $20-$50/mt premium compared to Turkey," one Turkish agent source said. "In my opinion, the next booking may happen only if the Turks decide to pay $370-$380/mt CFR, [but] they may find a supplier in need of finance selling cheaper."
Weekly LME scrap futures trading volumes over the week to Aug. 4 totaled 202,280 mt, up from 70,410 mt on week, reaching highest trading volumes recorded since May 28, 2020, of 235,660 mt. The week also saw highest daily volumes traded on Aug. 2 of 145,900 mt since the launch of the contract in late 2015.
Near-term rebar futures contracts also saw strong gains on the week to Aug. 4.
Platts assessed the August contract up $5.50/mt to $635/mt, according to S&P Global data. The September contract gained $16.50/mt on the week to $635/mt, while the October contract jumped $16/mt to $635.50/mt.
The backwardation over the August-September portion of the forward curve turned flat, suggesting that futures traders were unclear in terms of near-term price direction in the physical market.
The slight contango structure over the September-October portion of the curve softened slightly on the week.
Turkish physical rebar export prices were stable on the week at $630/mt FOB on Aug. 4, having briefly dropped to $610/mt FOB on Aug. 1, as Turkish mills started raising offers for rebars in the export market amid strong scrap prices despite weak rebar demand.
One European buyer on Aug. 4 noted that Turkish mills had increased rebar prices in the export market over the span of two days. He reported that one Marmara mill had increased offers by around $30/mt, however, buyers might resist.
"Today I doubt that Turkish mills would accept prices below $625-$630/mt FOB. Question is whether this would be acceptable to most buyers."
Rebar futures weekly trading volumes in the week on the London Metal Exchange totaled 11,670 mt, up from 3,400 mt in the week ended July 28, reaching highest recorded volumes since the week of July 14.
The daily outright spread between Turkish export rebar and import scrap was assessed at $265/mt Aug. 4, down $15/mt on the week.