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Northwest European steel scrap remains supported in April

London β€” Recyclers in Northwest Europe have been largely able to roll over steel scrap prices in mill settlements for April despite some weakness in export markets such as Turkey.

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S&P Global Platts assessed delivered shredded scrap at Eur275/mt on Wednesday, unchanged from prices in March.

While Belgian recyclers had accepted a Eur2-3/mt decrease in settlements this month, the rest of the Northwest European complex in Germany, the Netherlands and France was largely stable.

"There is still good demand and with more production days than working days for recyclers around Easter some mills kept April prices stable to secure the scrap supply over this month," a German recycler said.

Scrap flows into yards remained limited, leading recyclers to keep collection prices high, despite weakness in the Turkish market. Lower prime scrap arisings from automobiles and manufacturing further supported prices.

The Turkish heavy melting scrap 1/2 (80:20) market fell to $305/mt CFR at the beginning of this week, with further downside expected next week. The market had climbed to around $325/mt due to restocking in mid-March, from $315/mt at the beginning of March.

The Northwest European scrap market has become partially detached from export market pricing. While demand from flat steel producers is expected to decline due to slowing activity in automobile markets, long steel products will continue to support scrap demand in the region, sources told Platts.

"We might see some reduction in some parts of the private construction sector, but industrial and infrastructure projects should provide both production and demand [for scrap] in the next months," the German recycler said.

Southern European scrap supply was also tight, but prices were not as insulated as in Northwestern Europe, with decreases between Eur5-10/mt on the month.

-- Pascal Dick, pascal.dick@spglobal.com

-- Edited by James Burgess, newsdesk@spglobal.com