Reluctant Midwestern US scrap buyers exited the sidelines by Thursday at the latest, and paid prices for March settlements on average $40/lt higher than February prices, according to market sources.
Demand in the Midwest region fueled higher purchases earlier in the week, leading some buyers to hold out in hope of lower prices even as bullish scrap dealers held out for higher price settlements.
The Platts assessment for shredded scrap moved to $410-415/lt delivered Midwest mill. Prime grades experienced the biggest jump in prices, as Midwest EAF mills aggressively entered the market earlier in the week. No. 1 busheling traded in the range of $420-425/lt.
Price increases as high as $50/lt were reported from buyers who had to springboard and buy scrap outside their region, paying higher freight costs.
"There is not enough scrap for what the demand appears to be," one Midwest scrap dealer said. "Everyone was calling, wanting more tons. I don't know if it's all of a sudden the stock market, or if they really have the order books. The mills are running with lean material."
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