Scrap steel markets are showing signs of stabilization for April. Prices this month traded at sideways levels as Mills have been able to secure adequate scrap supplies to meet their current demand. This balance of supply and demand comes as scrap flows loosen, particularly through the Midwest and Eastern states as rising temperatures pull them out of the harsh winter conditions that curtailed scrap flows previously. There is little export pressure right now which will continue to allow domestic mills to buy scrap at the current moderate rates. Turkey has been reported buying a few bulk loads off of the East Coast and Korea has reportedly picked up a few loads from the West but overall, exports remain weak and quiet.
There has been some mixed trends among base metals over the last month which has resulted in some gains for both aluminum and nickel alloys, but some large losses for red metals including copper and brass. Nickel lead the way last month reaching numbers that are up 10% from this time last month. Aluminums followed suit and showed some strength posting gains of up to 5%. Copper and other red metals didn’t fare so well, losing more than 10% of their value over the past 30 days. Brass items, which are made up of 60%-95% copper, have also been effected from these steep drops. Copper’s woes are largely due to the slowing Chinese economy and the state run Chinese banks severely limiting their lines of credit in March. Red metals have now stabilized and attempting to re-gain back some of their lost ground.
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