PITTSBURGH Domestic exporters can rest assured that the United States will remain the worlds shopping mall for scrap metal through the end of this decade, according to attendees at AMMs steel scrap conference in Chicago.
Turkey, the domestic industrys largest customer, has exhibited a weaker appetite for U.S. scrap than in previous years but will remain a large importer of the material, according to Philip Hoffman, vice president of ferrous trading for Turkish mill buyer MedTrade.
Hoffman said Turkeys 20-percent reduction in sourcing scrap this year has been driven by lower melt rates, an increase in its domestic scrap output and the ability to convert billets at a more favorable price than melting scrap.
"In the last few years Turkey has consistently imported about 27 percent to 29 percent of its scrap needs from the U.S. Despite this years drop, in the long term Turkey will remain a large importer of U.S. scrap," Hoffman said. The addition of new steelmaking capacity under construction will help contribute to the countrys dependence on foreign-sourced scrap.
David Hodory, vice president of marketing and communications at Cincinnati-based David J. Joseph Co., agreed that Turkey will remain a large importer of scrap through at least 2022. South Korea, another major consumer of U.S. scrap, will also remain a large importer for the foreseeable future, Hodory said at the conference.
China may reduce its dependence on scrap imports but is not expected to become a competitor at least through 2020, Hodory said. While the country may be able to meet its needs internally it wont become a net exporter of scrap, he said.