CHICAGO U.S. ferrous scrap exports tumbled to a three-month low in July as a stronger dollar made other regions more attractive to critical consuming markets.
U.S. exporters shipped a little more than 1.2 million tonnes in July, down 37.9 percent from nearly 1.94 million tonnes a year earlier and 14.3 percent lower than the previous month, according to the latest data from the U.S. Commerce Department. The tally was the lowest since April, when 979,273 tonnes were sent abroad.
Of the 14 major destinations tracked by AMM, all recorded year-on-year declines in July.
Turkey, the largest offshore consumer of U.S. scrap, took 374,092 tonnes in July, down 38.6 percent from 609,343 tonnes a year earlier although 12.3 percent higher than in June, while Taiwans intake of 209,308 tonnes tumbled 40.9 percent from 354,349 tonnes in July 2012 and 22.4 percent from the previous month.
Despite sales to China more than doubling to 164,397 tonnes in July vs. June, the tally lagged year-ago shipments of 218,433 tonnes by 24.7 percent.
West Coast export woes worsened, with major consumer South Korea taking just 62,369 tonnes, down 59.1 percent from 152,416 tonnes in July last year and 69.4 percent from the previous month.
Indias weak domestic currency and economy furthered its inability to import U.S. scrap, with shipments of just 33,445 tonnes in July down 68.6 percent from 106,501 tonnes a year ago and 45.4 percent from June.
The biggest declines in July were seen in No. 1 heavy melt, which fell 47.9 percent to 363,569 tonnes from 697,522 tonnes a year ago, and shredded scrap, which fell 35.6 percent to 386,990 tonnes from 600,749 tonnes.
U.S. ferrous scrap exports in the first seven months of the year totaled nearly 11.12 million tonnes, down 15.7 percent from 13.19 million tonnes in the same period last year. No. 1 heavy melt again took the brunt of the hit, falling 22 percent to nearly 3.65 million tonnes from more than 4.67 million tonnes, while shredded slid 15.8 percent to 3.34 million tonnes from 3.97 million tonnes.