During the past decade, scrap prices have risen across the board or been partly sideways seven times in
August markets, and have fallen across the board only three times. The last time prices dropped across the board was in 2011, but even then the declines were only a few dollars per ton. Prices did fall considerably twice – in 2006 and 2008 – however.
The Scrap Trends Outlook average indicator numbers for mill factors in August. Mill production is expected to fall next month, along with mill orders, service center orders and mill demand for scrap, while mill inventories, home and captive scrap and slowdowns/shutdowns are expected to hold fairly close to the levels experienced in July.
The percentage of respondents in this month’s survey who expect scrap prices to fall or, at worst, be sideways in August. Frag and cut grades far and away lead the pack in expected market weakness, with foundry, prime grades following with a slightly less drop. Overall, about one-fourth see sideways movement, while 71 percent expect a decrease.