Ferrous scrap exports from the United States increased last year for the first time in five years thanks to more robust appetites from
steelmakers in Mexico and other emerging countries.
U.S. exporters shipped 13.2 million tonnes of ferrous scrap worldwide in 2016, up 3.6 percent from 12.7 million tonnes the prior year, according to updated U.S. Census Bureau data issued in early February.
Sales to Mexico rocketed 77.8 percent to 2.05 million tonnes from 1.15 million tonnes in the same comparison, providing a much-needed boost to U.S. exporters last year. Deliveries of No. 1 bundles to that country surged to 568,873 tonnes, 10 times the
56,702 tonnes shipped the previous year while those of No. 1 heavy melting scrap nearly tripled to 475,944 tonnes from 163,035
Taking a reverse course, shredded scrap volumes to Mexico retreated by 34.1 percent to 389,122 tonnes from 590,085 tonnes.
Aside from Mexico, ferrous scrap deliveries to Kuwait, Bangladesh and Greece more than doubled; and volumes to Canada, China, Pakistan, Thailand, Peru and Vietnam showed healthy gains compared with 2015 levels. Higher volume shipments to these countries were enough to offset declines in sales to three mainstay export destinations: Turkey, South Korea and Taiwan.
Shipments to Turkey, South Korea and Taiwan dipped 20 percent, 22.3 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, in 2016 vs. the previous
Shredded scrap held its position as the most popular export grade in 2016 with 4.37 million tonnes shipped abroad, up 3.1 percent
from 4.24 million tonnes the previous year. The only main grade to register a dip was plate and structural scrap, with exports sinking to 561,870 tonnes in 2016 from 818,686 tonnes the prior year.