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FUTURES WRAP: Near-term LME scrap, rebar contracts climb further

пятница, 04 декабря 2020

The near-term scrap and rebar futures contracts on the London Metal Exchange both saw further gains over the week to Dec. 3 amid continued expectations of a strong physical market in the near term.

The scrap forward curve saw a slight strengthening of the near-term contango over December-January contracts, highlighting future traders’ expectations of further increases in near-term in the physical scrap prices into Turkey.

However, a strong backwardation formed over the later-dated contracts, suggesting some softening of physical scrap prices into the first quarter of 2021 is expected.

The December contract increased by $9/mt over the week to $380.50/mt, while the January contract was up by $10.75/mt to $383.75/mt, and the later-dated February contract was unchanged on week at $372.50/mt on Dec. 3. The March contract was heard to trade at $356/mt on Dec. 3.

Spot prices for physical imports of premium heavy melting scrap 1/2 (80:20) had increased $11/mt week on week to $361/mt CFR Turkey on Dec. 3.

Turkish mill sources said that $365/mt CFR was workable for premium HMS 1/2 (80:20), with $370/mt CFR and above expected by some trading sources in the near term.

Weekly scrap futures trading volumes over the week to Dec. 3 totaled 96,850 mt, up from 54,500 mt recorded last week. The daily trading volume on Nov. 30 totaled 71,780 mt, the highest daily volume since May 27, when 94,020 mt traded.

The rebar forward curve maintained a very soft backwardation over December-January contracts over the week, suggesting some concern regarding the long-term sustainability of recently strong rebar prices.

The December contract increased by $3/mt to $556.50/mt, while the January rebar contract was also up by $3/mt to $556/mt. and the February contract fell 75 cents/mt on week to $543.75/mt on week on Dec. 3.

The Turkish rebar physical market saw further increases in prices during the week, although demand was heard to remain more subdued up to Dec. 3. The Platts assessment of Turkish exported rebar was up $14/mt over the week to $534/mt FOB Turkey on Dec. 3.

Rebar futures weekly trading volumes this week on the London Metal Exchange totaled 14,110 mt, up from the 12,890 mt recorded last week. The monthly rebar futures trading volume totaled 91,040 mt for November, the highest monthly total since February 2020, when 126,320 mt was traded.

The Turkish longs melting margin -- the spread between Turkish exported rebar and import scrap -- increased by $3/mt week on week to $173/mt on Dec. 3.

Late November marked the fifth anniversary of the launch of the LME scrap and rebar futures contracts. The two contracts have traded a combined 16.62 million mt up to Dec. 3.

-- Viral Shah

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