Not a single survey respondent expects prices to fall next month – 94 percent say prices will be higher or much higher, while 6 percent believe a sideways or strong sideways market is possible. The strongest forecast is for gains in shredded value, although prime and cut grades are not far behind. Foundry scrap also may be strong.
After having their biggest month of the year in August, export scrap sales fell in September, although they remained at a level of more than 1 million tonnes. However, sellers say that October and November were stronger months, so that confidence is high heading into December that export demand will play a strong role in pushing prices.
Prices have not fallen across the board since December 2005, though they fell on some grades just two years ago. They have risen in part or full in nine of the past 10 Decembers. So overall historical data tend to point toward a market that is much more likely to rise or be sideways than to fall. Respondents are confident next month will rise.