U.S. steelmakers sourced more ferrous scrap cargoes from offshore suppliers last year than in 2015, but purchased smaller volumes of scrap substitutes.
Ferrous scrap imports increased 12.7 percent to nearly 2.7 million tonnes in 2016 from slightly less than 2.4 million tonnes the previous year, U.S. Commerce Department data show.
The increase was driven by a surge in European-origin material as imports from the United Kingdom nearly doubled to 353,904 tonnes from 182,295 tonnes in 2016. Meanwhile, arrivals from the Netherlands and Sweden jumped 64.7 percent and 50.2 percent to
180,018 tonnes and 259,183 tonnes, respectively, from 109,254 tonnes and 172,546 tonnes in 2015.
Canada remains the U.S. largest trading partner even though annual volumes shipped into Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland dipped 4.9 percent to 1.76 million tonnes from 1.85 million tonnes in 2015.
Meanwhile, imports of pig iron and direct-reduced iron (DRI) by U.S. mills dropped 14.7 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively in 2016 compared with 2015 volumes. Pig iron imports gained 31.7 percent in the final month of the year, while those for DRI increased
36.3 percent vs. November.