Singapore — Taiwan imported 165,608 mt of ferrous scrap in February, down 42.5% from January and down 22.6% year on year, and posting a 16-month low, data released by the finance ministry showed Tuesday.
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The total was the lowest since 166,264 mt of ferrous scrap was imported in October 2017, the data showed.
The biggest supplier in February remained the US at 72,880 mt, although this was down 55.3% from January, followed by Japan at 24,420 mt, up 21.6% over the same period, and Hong Kong at 11,820 mt, down 35.1% on month.
Prices of scrap imported in January for delivery in February averaged at $262.50/mt CFR Taiwan for US-origin containerized HMS I/II 80:20, down 5.5% from December. Taiwan's domestic product market has been lackluster since the last quarter of 2018, curbing buying interest for scrap, market sources said.
Imported ferrous scrap prices were at the lowest in January since mid-2017, S&P Global Platts data showed.
Taiwan's domestic steel scrap price for similar grade averaged T$8,475/mt ($275/mt) delivered to northern Taiwan mills in January, equal to or slightly more competitive than the cost of importing scrap, taking into account an industry accepted average of $10-$15/mt transport costs from port to mills in the north, market sources said.
The month-on-month decline in volume could also be attributed to the mills avoiding deliveries during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday in Taiwan in February, where most EAFs were not in operation.
--Edited by Wendy Wells, firstname.lastname@example.org