Japan, Asia’s largest steel scrap supplier, exported 9.39 million tonnes of the steelmaking raw material last year – over a fifth more than in 2019.
Vietnam became the single largest importer of Japanese scrap last year; at 3.40 million tonnes, this was an increase of 54.7% year on year.
But South Korea’s imports of Japanese material fell by 26.6% year on year to 2.95 million tonnes.
Further intrigue emerged in the Asian scrap market in January 2021, with the resumption of large-scale scrap imports in China.
China imported 221,409 tonnes of ferrous scrap in the first five months of 2021, a 2,894% increase from the same period in 2020. Imports from Japan alone accounted for 166,337 tonnes.
Following China’s return to the international scrap market, Fastmarkets launched a daily price assessment for steel scrap, heavy recycled steel materials, cfr China.
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Asian steel scrap imports fluctuated wildly from territory to territory in 2020, with South Korea and Bangladesh reporting decreases while Taiwan and Vietnam recorded increases.