Platts Launches New Ferrous Scrap & Steel Billet Price Assessments

Full Value-Chain Price Transparency to Aid Steel Mills, Processors, Exporters & Market

Dec 01, 2010, 08:58 ET from Platts

LONDON, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Platts, a leading global provider of energy and metals information, today expanded its suite of price assessments for steel and steel-related products with four new daily assessments for ferrous scrap and billet. These additions augment Platts' portfolio of steel assessments which range from raw material inputs to semi-finished and finished products and freight.

Ferrous scrap is recyclable iron-bearing material which can be re-melted into liquid steel and cast into billets or slabs, which can then be rolled into an array of finished products. The new Platts assessments cover two key grades of ferrous scrap: Heavy melting scrap (HMS), typically derived from obsolete equipment and other post-consumer steel, and shredded scrap, derived mainly from the shredding of automobiles. Some 40 percent of the world's steel is made from recycled steel and ferrous materials and the remaining 60 percent is made from iron ore.

"Platts' daily assessments of ferrous scrap, which reflect global flows and values at key steelmaking locations in both the Americas and Europe, offer the entire steel value chain a tighter connection to the supply and demand fundamentals of its underlying assets, " said Karen McBeth, Platts global editorial director of metals. "We believe the new assessments will benefit producers, users and market participants not only in the United States and Turkey, a major scrap-consuming country, but also in Europe and Asia at large, thereby facilitating the industry's desire for global price references."

Each of the new assessments listed below are based on all-day market monitoring and open market data collection of transactions, bids, offers and other information from market participants reflecting values at the close of the physical market trading day at 4:30 p.m. local time.  

  • Heavy Melting Scrap, CFR Turkey: Cargoes, quoted in U.S. dollars per metric ton, are based on shipping terms to Turkey including cost and freight (CFR)
  • Heavy Melting Scrap, FAS U.S. East Coast: Cargoes, quoted in U.S. dollars per long ton (2,240 lbs, sometimes called a gross ton), are based on shipping terms to U.S. East Coast free alongside ship (FAS)
  • Shredded scrap, FAS U.S. East Coast: Cargoes, quoted in U.S. dollars per long ton (2,240 lbs, sometimes called a gross ton), are based on shipping terms to U.S. East Coast free alongside ship (FAS)
  • Steel billet, FOB Black Sea: Cargoes, quoted in U.S. dollars per metric ton, are based on material loaded for export from Black Sea ports free on board (FOB)

Smaller non-integrated steel mills—or so-called mini mills—which tend not to require iron ore and coking coal for their steelmaking operations, are the largest consumers of ferrous scrap. Such producers melt scrap in electric furnaces.

Ferrous scrap is one of several commodity markets, like iron ore, that is currently in transition and showing increasing signs of moving beyond its traditional regional market boundaries toward a more global price discovery process. The two markets tend to follow similar price trends given that both metallics are inputs to the same end products.  Platts has been reporting on iron ore since June 2008, when it introduced the world's first daily price assessments in iron ore.

"Our experience in steel, iron ore and most recently, alumina, has demonstrated that short-term price information can improve not only the transparency of a market in transition, but its efficiency," said Francis Browne, Platts director of metals market reporting.

Platts publishes assessments across the steel value chain, from the raw material inputs such as metallurgical coal, iron ore, ferrous scrap and ferroalloys to finished products such as hot rolled plate, hot-rolled coil and reinforcing bar (rebar). The new scrap assessments complement three existing daily ferrous scrap assessments relating to values in Rotterdam, Black Sea and the U.S. Midwest.  They are aimed at addressing the information needs of miners, scrap processors, electric-furnace based steel and other mini-mills, traders and other market observers as they seek to understand or determine global valuations for short- and long-term contracts.  In addition, they provide a data correlation comparison opportunity with the existing four Platts assessments for rebar relating to daily values ex-works in Europe, Turkey, southeast United States, and Houston, Texas.

Platts' ferrous scrap assessments are published in Platts Steel Markets Daily, an online and print publication containing news, market commentary and price information aimed at the steel, construction, and auto industries as well as commodities-focused money managers worldwide. They also are available to subscribers to Platts Metals Alert, a real-time service,  and Platts Market Data, an end-of-day data feed.

The proprietary price assessment methodology used by Platts in steel, scrap and iron ore has been developed in consultation with a cross section of key industry players, draws upon Platts' century of experience in benchmark price reporting in the energy markets and is underpinned by robust quality guidelines. For information on Platts' price assessment methodology, click here: http://www.platts.com/IM.Platts.Content/MethodologyReferences/MethodologySpecs/steel.pdf

Platts' metals markets reporting spans nearly 40 years, following the tradition of its parent company, The McGraw-Hill Companies, which has covered the metals markets for 80 years.

For more information on metals, visit the Platts website at www.platts.com.  

About Platts: Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), is a leading global provider of energy and commodities information. With a century of business experience, Platts serves customers across more than 150 countries. An independent provider, Platts serves the oil, natural gas, electricity, emissions, nuclear power, coal, petrochemical, shipping, and metals markets from 17 offices worldwide. Platts' real-time news, pricing, analytical services and conferences help markets operate with transparency and efficiency. Traders, risk managers, analysts, and industry leaders depend upon Platts to help them make better business decisions. Additional information is available at http://www.platts.com.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies: Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a global information and education company providing knowledge, insights and analysis in the financial, education and business information sectors through leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2009 were $5.95 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

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