US recyclers forecast sparkling 2018 for ferrous scrap

A number of factors - tax reform, continued recovery in the oil sector, modest discipline among Chinese steelmakers, an increase in military and construction spending and growing economies in the United States and abroad - are expected to work in ferrous scrap recyclers’ favor in 2018, according to a survey of US industry participants.

“I felt a lot of this year's improvement in steel prices was due to existing and anticipated trade actions against imports as well as a contagious optimism after last year's election that seemed to reflect wishful thinking rather than improved fundamentals. I've been expecting the ‘pie in the sky’ mentality to peter out, but it seems the price of steelmaking raw materials in Asia continues to rise as we come into year-end, so we now have some fundamentals that seem to justify higher steel prices,” a recycler in the Mississippi River area said.   Recyclers as a whole are bullish in their outlook for scrap but have mixed opinions on whether more or less vehicles will roll off assembly lines in 2018. “Auto production is expected to be lower, which will keep prime scrap supplies in check and will support pricing,” an Ohio Valley trader said. Forecasts for US automotive sales in 2017 are around...


Lisa Gordon

December 21, 2017

20:38 GMT