Landmark import scrap cargo held up by delays at Chinese port

The first delivery of imported scrap to arrive in China since last month’s relaxation of import restrictions has been held up by delays at the port, market sources told Fastmarkets on Friday January 22.

The bulk vessel of Japan-origin heavy scrap was sold to a Chinese steelmaker early in January.

The vessel was originally expected to arrive at port in Shanghai this week, according to a local Chinese report, but two Japanese scrap trading sources said the vessel would not be able to berth until the weekend.

One of the Japanese traders said the ship was awaiting a place to berth, but was expected to be able to do so in the next one or two days.

The second Japanese trader said the vessel had to wait for room to dock due to congestion at the port.

“A few ports in the Northeast of China are facing problems such as congestion and delayed shipments,” a Chinese trader said.

Japanese ports have experienced similar bottlenecks amid heightened export activity in recent weeks.

Sources from companies involved in the deal did not give any details about the situation when approached for comment by Fastmarkets on Friday.

China’s Ministry of Ecology & Environment formally confirmed the relaxation of steel scrap import regulations for material arriving in China on December 31.

Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel scrap, P&S, export, fob main port Japan was ¥44,000-46,500 ($425-449) per tonne on January 20, down from ¥47,500-48,000 per tonne a week earlier, based on sales to South Korea.

The last transaction price heard for Japanese P&S scrap to China – known as HS in Japan – was ¥47,000 per tonne fob earlier this week.

Explore the six macro-economic and steel-specific dynamics set to rebalance the Asia steel and scrap market in 2021. Read our full report, Asia Steel and Scrap: Six Key Forces Driving 2021, today.

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