NEW YORK U.S. nonferrous scrap exports fell in December amid weaker demand from China, whose aluminum scrap intake fell 13.9 percent vs. November to 110,450 short tons.
Buyers at Chinese aluminum smelters cited several factors, including a steep fall in the primary aluminum price in China, which has made scrap a less-attractive option to prime.
"We are not looking to buy as much scrap as we have in the past," one buyer at a major Chinese aluminum smelter told AMM. "Prime is a pretty good option for us at this point, especially because of the weakening aluminum market in China."
Others cited weather-related issues. "We have the material, but moving it has been pretty difficult over the past few months," one exporter said, adding that recent inclement weather likely will reduce export activity into March.