NEW YORK U.S. exports of nonferrous scrap showed mixed results in February.
Shipments remained depressed compared with a year earlier as exporters continued to face lower demand from key consumers in Far East Asia, but were up from January to the highest level in four months.
Exports of the major nonferrous scrap metal categories tracked by AMM totaled 292,906 short tons in February, according to the latest U.S. Commerce Department data, down 6.7 percent from 314,107 tons in February 2012 but up 12 percent from 261,628 tons in January to the highest level since October, when 317,963 tons were shipped abroad.
All of the major categories except lead registered declines in February compared with a year earlier, with aluminum posting the biggest volume loss as exports fell 8.5 percent to 166,890 tons from 182,314 tons. Copper, the second-largest nonferrous scrap category by volume, saw exports drop 3.5 percent to 110,649 tons in the same comparison.
However, both aluminum and copper posted increases of more than 11 percent compared with January.
Zinc scrap exports totaled 7,909 tons in February, down 6.7 percent year on year but up 65.3 percent from January.
Lead was the only category to buck the year-on-year trend, with exports rising 49.3 percent to 3,353 tons. It also posted a monthly increase of 16 percent.
Meanwhile, two categories registered month-on-month declines in February, with aluminum used beverage cans falling 15.4 percent to 2,272 tons and nickel scrap down 0.7 percent to 1,833 tons. The two categories also fell year on year, declining 50.4 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.