Half of the ferrous scrap imported by the United States from Canada last year entered through Detroit, with the bulk of the shipments comprised of No. 1 bundles and shredded scrap.
Even so, ferrous scrap imports to Detroit slipped by 10,474 tonnes in 2016 compared with the previous year according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), part of the Department of the Interior,
If you add up the scrap demand in Illinois, Indiana and Detroit, and look at the production capabilities of the steel mills there, the demand for scrap through this gateway is a lot bigger compared to the mills that would route their scrap shipments through Buffalo, a broker source said.
Seattle took honors as the second major entry point, although that tally was also down by 72,160 tonnes compared with 2015 levels. Unlike Detroit, unspecified scrap grades accounted for the majority of shipments through the port, with shredded scrap and No. 1 heavy melt ranking second and third, respectively. Imports of No. 1 bundles through Seattle were minimal, at 9,268 tonnes.
Based on scrap-grade shipping patterns, sources attributed most of the cross-border volume to a West Coast exporter moving material to its deep-sea terminal from its British Columbia and Alberta yards rather than a Seattlebased steelmaker.
Meanwhile, Buffalo, N.Y., ranked as the third-highest importing port in terms of 2016 volume even as arrivals eased by 9,308 tonnes. Pembina, N.D., and Duluth, Minn., were next in line, although these ports bucked the trend as import volumes increased by 2,699 tonnes and 4,176 tonnes year on year, respectively.