NEW YORK U.S. ferrous scrap export volumes dropped by 38.8 percent to 2.09 million tonnes in the first two months of this year due to continued weakening demand from China, India, Taiwan and Turkey.
Since the year kicked off, bulk cargoes have traded irregularly and in limited volumes from all three U.S. coasts, with containerized scrap exports to India and Taiwan also suffering from a stronger dollar and struggling finished product markets in those regions.
Turkey, the largest offshore consumer of U.S. ferrous scrap, accounted for the bulk of this years decline, with its intake of 352,705 tonnes down 67.3 percent from the first two months of 2013.
Some market participants expect similar trends in shipments to Turkey during March and April, with Turkish steel mills reportedly booking just seven cargoes to date compared with around 15 cargoes in the same period a year earlier.
Year-to-date ferrous scrap exports to China fell by more than two-thirds to 103,778 tonnes vs. the first two months of last year, Taiwans purchases fell by 29.4 percent to 375,570 tonnes and Indias intake dropped by 77 percent to 32,229 tonnes.
Ferrous scrap exports totaled just shy of 1.2 million tonnes in February, the latest U.S. Commerce Department data show, down 36.6 percent from 1.89 million tonnes in the same month last year but up 33.5 percent from January.
No. 1 heavy melt and shredded scrap registered the biggest declines in February, falling by 182,335 tonnes and 172,470 tonnes, respectively, vs. the same month last year.