India has surpassed South Korea to become second-largest importer of ferrous scrap in the world in 2019.
Turkey was the world’s largest importer in 2019 with total imports at 18.86mn mt.
Indian ferrous scrap imports rose 11.5pc to 7.05mn mt in 2019, up from 6.32mn mt in 2018, according to a Davis Index analysis.
Indian ferrous scrap imports crossed the 7mn mt mark for the first time in 2019. Indian imports were at 5.47mn mt in 2017 and 6.32mn mt in 2018, respectively.
Rising crude steel production at Indian electric arc furnaces resulted in increase in ferrous scrap imports in 2019.
According to the World Steel Association, India produced 111.2mn mt of steel in 2019, up 1.8pc from the year prior.
South Korea dropped to third on the list of largest ferrous scrap importers in 2019. Its ferrous scrap imports stood at 6.49mn mt in 2019 up 1.56pc from 6.39mn mt in 2018.
Other major importers in Asia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Taiwan and Indonesia, saw a decline in ferrous scrap imports amid weakened domestic steel demand in 2019.
In 2019, India imported its highest volume from the UAE, 16pc of its total ferrous scrap imports, at 1.15mn mt. This figure was the same in 2018.
India imported 869,429mt of ferrous scrap from the UK up 25pc from 694,180mt in 2018.
Other major exporters to India were the United States, Singapore and South Africa, supplying 768,095mt (up 9pc), 464,608mt (down 1.8pc) and 415,782mt (up 11pc), respectively.
In December 2019, Indian ferrous scrap imports dropped to 481,699mt, down 20pc from 602,557mt in the same month the prior year.
The December drop was driven by a drop in imports from the UAE and the United Kingdom, by 33pc and 49pc, respectively.
Indian ferrous scrap imports are expected to remain high in 2020 as the Indian steel industry is likely to face a raw material shortage with iron-ore mine leases expiring in March.
The government also aims to lower imports by increasing domestic supply through vehicle recycling plants being set-up in the country.
Leading automakers like Mahindra and Tata Steel are in the race to speed up vehicle recycling activities, with a recycling policy in the final stages of approval with the Indian cabinet.