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Emerging markets help spur 2017 surge in US ferrous scrap exports

Global – Having totalled 12.75 million tonnes in 2016, US ferrous scrap exports leapt 17.8% to 15.016 million tonnes last year thanks to a combination of increased purchases by most of its traditional customers and massive demand growth from several fast-emerging markets. Of the major buyers, only India cut its order – albeit by a sizeable 35.9% to 707 310 tonnes, US Census Bureau data reveal.

Turkey remained the runaway leader in terms of US scrap imports with its purchases climbing 14.1% year on year to 3.631 million tonnes.

China upped its order by an identical percentage in buying 1.017 million tonnes of US scrap last year while Mexico and Taiwan both increased their US purchases by 5.4% to, respectively, 1.667 million tonnes and 1.419 million tonnes.

Canada took 919 067 tonnes of US ferrous scrap last year for an increase of 27.7% over the 719 528 tonnes of 2016.

Among the standout emerging markets for US ferrous scrap, Vietnam (+92% year on year to 710 087 tonnes), Pakistan (+52.7% to 691 192 tonnes) and Bangladesh (+109.4% to 619 899 tonnes) all bought more than the more established US outlet of South Korea, which took 536 275 tonnes in 2017.

US shipments to Egypt, meanwhile, soared 231.9% last year to 399 694 tonnes.

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