NEW YORK The U.S. ferrous
scrap export market kicked off the new year with record January
shipments after the appetite of its biggest offshore consumer
A 30.7-percent increase in
exports to Turkey was all the United States needed to post its
highest January shipment total ever at 1,532,182 tonnes,
according to the latest data from the U.S. Commerce Department,
up 8.2 percent from the previous record of 1,416,604 tonnes set
in January last year (
amm.com, March 14, 2012).
Turkey remained the largest
importer of U.S. scrap in January, taking 483,170 tonnes vs.
369,716 tonnes a year earlier despite an increase in scrap
prices that only eased toward the end of January.
Mexico provided the only other
bright spot for the export market since other top
consumersincluding China, India and Taiwantrended
sideways vs. January 2012 and demand from South Korea and
Canada fell sharply.
Ferrous scrap exports to Mexico
soared to 81,233 tonnes in January from 29,604 tonnes in the
same month last year; demand from Taiwan, the second-largest
importer in January, improved a marginal 1.4 percent to 263,662
tonnes from 260,055 tonnes; exports to China (including Hong
Kong) rose 3.5 percent to 144,366 tonnes from 139,548 tonnes;
and purchases by India inched up 1.9 percent to 72,424 tonnes
from 71,108 tonnes.
But overall volumes were
severely affected by a 26.8-percent drop in South Korean buying
to 179,005 tonnes in January from 244,647 tonnes a year
earlier; a 17.8-percent decline in demand from Canada to 87,319
tonnes from 106,320 tonnes in the same comparison; and a
57.4-percent plunge in shipments to Egypt to 38,881 tonnes from
Heavy melt scrap sales benefited
the most from active Turkish buying as shipments of No. 1 heavy
melt improved 11.3 percent year on year to 519,232 tonnes from
Exports of plate and structural
scrap jumped 31.3 percent to 78,850 tonnes from 60,046 tonnes,
but shredded scrap exports suffered from meek Far East Asian
interest, dropping 5 percent to 401,188 tonnes from 422,372