SINGAPORE Vietnam imported 3.43 million tonnes of ferrous scrap last year, up 32.5 percent from 2011, according to recent figures from the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA).
The United States was the largest scrap supplier to Vietnam in 2012, as it has been for the past few years, VSA vice chairman and general secretary Dinh Huy Tam said. However, no specific figures were available on imports from the United States.
Vietnams scrap import volumes have risen despite a contraction in steel consumption last year on a slowdown in the countrys real estate industry.
The reason is that the country has turned to importing less billet and buying more scrap since 2010, Tam said.
The country used to import more than 2 million tonnes per year of billet, but since 2010 more domestic billet has been produced, he said.
Billet imports fell to 470,000 tonnes last year from 843,000 tonnes in 2011, also down from the prior year.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.