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Contrasting fortunes for US aluminium and copper scrap exports

US aluminium scrap exports actually increased in the first quarter of 2018 despite a reduction in shipments to China. Total overseas deliveries advanced by 9% year on year to 386 910 tonnes whereas exports to China fell 7.2% to 177 553 tonnes, according to latest figures from the US Census Bureau and US International Trade Commission.

Compared to the first quarter of 2017, India and Malaysia were among those countries to massively hike their imports of US aluminium scrap – the former by 146.8% to 27 516 tonnes and the latter by more than 370% to 20 179 tonnes.
US shipments to South Korea (+13.6% to 49 723 tonnes) and Mexico (+20.4% to 39 292 tonnes) also climbed significantly For US copper and copper alloy scrap exports, however, the drop in Chinese purchases (-25.7% to 131 060 tonnes) was reflected on the bottom line.
US shipments to all destinations fell 7.7% from 251 563 tonnes in January-March 2017 to 232 178 tonnes in this year’s corresponding period. This was despite the fact that US deliveries to Malaysia and Thailand surged from virtually nothing in the opening quarter of last year to, respectively, 11 089 tonnes and 4932 tonnes in January-March this year.

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