Japan exported more ferrous scrap last year than in 2018, largely because of increases to Vietnam, Taiwan and Bangladesh, according to Global Trade Tracker data.
The country’s ferrous scrap exports rose by 3.39pc to 7.7mn mt in 2019, up from 7.4mn mt the year before. Compared to 2018, exports to Vietnan, Taiwan and Bangladesh rose by 41pc, 46pc, and 283pc, respectively.
Japan exported 51pc of its ferrous scrap—about 3.9mn mt—to South Korea, however, that is 3.35pc below 2018 exports when exports to the country totaled 4.06mn mt. South Korean steel consumption declined in 2019, and that affected Japanese exports. Moreover, major steel mills shifted their scrap purchased policies to strengthen long-term contracts from the US in lieu of open tender for Japanese scrap, resulting in bulk imports from the US in 2019.
Japan exported 2.2mn mt of ferrous scrap to Vietnam last year, up by 41pc from 1.6mn mt in 2018. Exports to Taiwan increased to 6.5mn mt from 4.5mn mt, while exports to Bangladesh—the fourth-largest Japanese scrap destination—rose to 318,202mt from 83,029mt in 2018.
In December, Japan exported 764,471mt, an increase of 11pc from 687,372mt in December 2018. South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan were major importers of Japanese ferrous scrap with 300,551mt, 251,751mt and 93,463mt, respectively.
Japan produced 99.3mn mt in 2019, a decrease of 4.8pc from the year before, according to statistics published by the Japan Iron & Steel Federation.
South Korean ferrous scrap imports rose 1.61pc to 6,495,442mt in 2019 from 6,392,718mt in 2018, according to Global Trade Tracker data available with Davis Index. The rise in imports were driven by higher bulk cargoes booked from the US in the first half of 2019.
South Korea imported the highest volume from Japan, comprising 62pc of total ferrous scrap imports last year. The country imported 4.02mn mt ferrous scrap from Japan, almost flat from imports in 2018.
South Korea imported 1.11mn mt of ferrous scrap from the US in 2019, up by 27pc from 877,193mt in 2018. The bulk of US exports to South Korea occurred during the first half of the year. Imports from Russia totaled 711,961mt last year, down from 923,442mt in 2018.
In December, South Korea imported 518,611mt of ferrous scrap, down by 1.9pc from 529,108mt during the same month in 2018. Imports from Japan, United States and Russia totaled at 341,602mt, 72,854mt and 50,705mt, respectively.
Malaysian ferrous scrap exports dropped 8.07pc to 399,617mt in 2019 from 434,699mt in 2018, according to Global Trade Tracker data available with Davis Index. The drop-in exports was mainly due to rising domestic scrap consumption and lowered exports to the major destinations like India, Indonesia and Singapore, down 14pc, 12pc and 32pc from the prior year.
Malaysia exported highest ferrous scrap volume to India, comprising 32pc of total exports in 2019. The country’s exports to India totaled 128,043mt, down from 148,790mt in 2018. Malaysia exported 90,891mt of ferrous scrap to Indonesia in 2019, declining by 12pc from 103,281mt in 2018. Exports to Singapore fell to 53,241mt in 2019 from 78,175mt the year before.
In December, Malaysia exported 36,121mt of ferrous scrap, down by 1.61pc from 36,713mt during the same month in 2018. Exports to India, Indonesia and Singapore totaled 16,360mt, 5,042mt and 3,204mt, respectively.