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Metal Recycling News February 23, 2017 12:30:49 PM

US ferrous scrap exports rebound after four years of decline

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The primary importer of US ferrous scrap during the year was Turkey.

US ferrous scrap exports rebound after four years of decline

SPOKANE (Scrap Monster): The trade statistics released by the US Department of commerce and Bureau of Census indicates that ferrous scrap exports by the country rebounded by nearly 4% in 2016. This is when matched with the exports during the previous year. The US ferrous scrap exports have reported increase for the first time after registering four consecutive years of year-on-year decline.

According to data, the country’s ferrous scrap exports totaled 13.230 million tonnes (Mt) during 2016. The exports inched higher by 3.6% over the previous year. The scrap exports had totaled 12.768 Mt during the entire year 2015.

The primary importer of US ferrous scrap during the year was Turkey. The Turkish imports totaled 3.168 Mt, accounting for nearly 24% of the total US ferrous scrap exports during the year. Turkey reported 20% drop in US ferrous scrap purchases during the year. The country had imported 3.961 Mt in 2015. The second largest importer was Mexico with 2.049 Mt. The country accounted for 15.5% share of US ferrous scrap exports. The Mexican imports of US ferrous scrap skyrocketed by 78%, when compared with imports of 1.152 Mt recorded during 2015. In third place was Taiwan with total imports of 1.366 Mt. Over 10% of US ferrous scrap exports during 2016 were to Taiwan. The imports by Taiwan have declined marginally by 2.9% over the previous year. The top 10 export destinations also include India (1.113 Mt), China (887,761t), South Korea (847,834t), Canada (716,038t), Pakistan (451,708t), Kuwait (441,681 t) and Thailand (426,954t).

Brazil recorded the biggest year-on-year jump in imports of ferrous scrap from the US. The imports by the country witnessed phenomenal rise of 10,900% from just 202t in 2015 to 22,078t in 2016. Germany recorded 230% jump in scrap imports from the US during the year. The German imports totaled 11,741t in 2016, as compared with 3,554t in 2015. The third largest rise in ferrous scrap imports from the US during the year was recorded by France. The country’s imports surged higher from 474t to 1,317t over the year. The other export destinations to report significant increase in imports of US ferrous scrap were Greece (up 148%), Indonesia (up 144%), Bangladesh (135%) and Kuwait (130%).

Meantime, Morocco and Qatar recorded 100% decline in imports. The imports by both these countries plunged to zero levels during the year 2016. It must be noted that Morocco had imported 71,775 t in 2015. Singapore’s ferrous scrap import volumes from the US dropped significantly by 95.4% from 31,393t in 2015 to 1,435t in 2016. Also, Spain reported 95.1% year-on-year decline from 18,134t to 895t. Italy too reported significant drop in imports. The country’s imports from the US have dropped by 93.8% to 2,243t in 2016. Italy had imported 36,221t in 2015. The other major countries to report considerable decline in import were Saudi Arabia (down 71.9%), Ecuador (down 61.7%), Venezuela (down 50%) and the UK (down 44%).

The following table provides the US ferrous scrap export volumes during the past ten years.












Export (Mt)












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