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Metal Recycling News February 19, 2018 02:30:10 PM

U.S. Scrap Exports Record Robust Growth in 2017, Despite Chinese Ban

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The US plastic scrap exports to China declined sharply by 32% in 2017. This impacted the overall US plastic scrap exports during the year, with exports hitting the lowest level in almost a decade.
U.S. Scrap Exports Record Robust Growth in 2017, Despite Chinese Ban

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster):  The overall scrap trade by the US continued to remain robust during 2017, despite the Chinese ban. The recent analysis published by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) indicates that overall scrap trade by the country increased during the year. The weaker demand for non-metallic scrap was more than offset by the improved demand for metal scrap-both ferrous as well as non-ferrous.

As per data, the overall exports of scrap commodities by the US were valued at $17.9 billion in 2017, recording a yearly growth of nearly 8.6%. The volume of exports totaled 37.9 million tons. China continued to remain as the largest destination of US scrap exports. Nearly 31% of all scrap exports by the country were destined to China. The value of US scrap exports to China amounted to $5.6 billion during the year.

The US copper and copper alloy scraps to China declined sharply by 10% during Q4 last year. The overall Chinese copper scrap imports had fallen by nearly 20% in December alone. However, yearly exports of the material to China were still higher by 4%. The aluminum scrap shipments to China surged higher by 32% during the last quarter of 2017. As a result, the full-year 2017 exports to China ended nearly 18.5% higher when compared with 2016. Meantime, US ferrous scrap exports soared by23% to 13.8 million metric tons. The exports hit the highest level since 2014, ISRI analysis noted.

The Chinese notification to the World Trade Organization (WTO) with regards to its plans to impose ban on mixed or unsorted recovered paper imports into the country resulted in sharp decline in export prices. The total volume of recovered paper exports from the US dropped sharply by nearly 8% over the previous year to around 18.3 million metric tons.

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The US plastic scrap exports to China declined sharply by 32% in 2017. This impacted the overall US plastic scrap exports during the year, with exports hitting the lowest level in almost a decade. The overall exports dropped 14% to total 1.67 million tons.

 

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