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Turkey sinks Oct. exports; shred hit hardest

Keywords: Tags  ferrous scrap, scrap exports, shredded, heavy melt, Commerce Department, Sean Davidson

NEW YORK — Weak Turkish interest sent U.S. ferrous scrap exports significantly lower for the second consecutive month in October.

Improved demand from some parts of Asia offered little respite as exports to Turkey plunged, with shredded scrap taking the biggest hit.

Ferrous scrap exports totaled 1,464,569 tonnes in October, down 10.2 percent from 1,631,442 tonnes the previous month and 18.4 percent below volumes sent overseas in October 2011, according to the latest U.S. Commerce Department data.

A standoff between Turkish mills and U.S. exporters on prices eventually hit trading volumes with the largest importer of U.S. scrap.

Exports to Turkey stood at 432,855 tonnes in October, down 34 percent from the 655,925 tonnes in September. Turkish buyers focused on heavy melt scrap buys and shied away from shredded.

As such, U.S. shredded exports to Turkey slumped to a 28-month low of just 81,394 tonnes in October, the lowest level since June 2010, when U.S. suppliers shipped 74,510 tonnes to the nation. That’s down 62.8 percent month on month and marks a reversal from September’s 13-month high of 219,053 tonnes.

Overall shredded exports fell 17.6 percent month on month to 394,585 tonnes in October. That’s on top of a 21.6-percent month-on-month decline in September (, Nov. 16).

Gains in offshore sales of shredded scrap to India, South Korea and Mexico helped offset a portion of the volume lost to Turkey.

Canada, Malaysia and South Korea were the other significant importers of U.S. ferrous scrap to lower their demand in October, while exports to China, India, Mexico and Taiwan strengthened.

No. 1 heavy melt exports fell 13.2 percent to 508,952 tonnes in October, while plate and structural scrap slid 11 percent to 73,020 tonnes.

For the first 10 months of the year, ferrous scrap exports fell 11.2 percent to 18,367,994 tonnes. This mostly affected shredded volumes, which fell 21.2 percent to 5,547,701 tones.

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