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Supramax scrap freight rates sink as Turkish demand collapses

Supramax and Handysize ferrous scrap metal freight rates fell this week, as cargo enquiries from the Continent and Baltic markets dwindled.

Lengthening spot tonnage lists from Friday onwards compounded the problem, as shipowners were forced to compete more fiercely on price for the remaining cargo stems.

Time charter rates on both Supramax and Handysize dry bulk vessels were pegged between $8,500/d and $9,500/d by market participants Thursday, down from more than $10,000/d at the beginning of May.

“On Monday shipowners were still asking $12,000-$13,000 DOP Continent for a scrap trip to the East Mediterranean on Ultramax,” a scrap charterer said Thursday. “Today it seems every Supramax or Ultramax is willing to take $10,000-$11,000/d and possibly less.”

TURKISH DECLINE

Turkey, the world’s largest importer of scrap metal, has struggled to buy cargoes in 2019 due to a weak lira and a troubled political landscape.

Turkish steelmakers in the first quarter imported around 1.5 million mt less scrap than they did in Q1 2018, down 27.6%, as mills struggle to sell their finished products both in the domestic and export markets.

S&P Global Platts Rotterdam to Aliaga 40,000 mt scrap route was assessed Thursday down 75 cents at $14.75/mt, while the Rotterdam to Aliaga 30,000 mt scrap route was assessed $1 lower at $18/mt.
Source: Platts

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