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Exports to Korea, Japan’s largest market, fell by 3.5% to 4.69 million tonnes, with volumes showing year-on-year retreats for five of the last six months of the year.
Meanwhile, scrap shipments to China fell by 15.2% to 2.61 million tonnes.
Between them, China and South Korea account for about 85% of Japan’s total scrap exports.
In the first half of the year, scrap exports to Korea rose by 16.7% to 2.8 million tonnes, while those to China dropped by 2.3% to 1.4 million tonnes.
Japanese scrap prices ended the first half of the year almost where they began in January. However, in the second half, they soared by more than 20%, reducing their appeal to foreign buyers in spite of the weakness of the yen.
Scrap exports from Japan to China and South Korea both fell in 2013 as prices soared in the second half of the year.