Scrap exports from US continue to decline

Port journal’s statistics indicate a 4.7 percent drop in the first half of 2015 compared with 2014.


Scrap metal exports from the United States have continued to drop in the first half of 2015, according to statistics gathered and summarized in a Journal of Commerce (JOC) online article.

Data collected and summarized by the JOC for its PIERS product show ocean-going scrap metal exports fell 4.7 percent by volume in the first half of 2015 compared with the first half of the previous year. “In May, scrap metal exports were down a whopping 26.5 percent year over year, after a 1.6 percent decline in April,” the JOC reports.

In its article the JOC says exports are expected to fall more by the end of 2015 if the strong U.S. dollar continues to weigh on all American exports. The group predicts exports could rebound by as much as 8.5 percent in 2016 if the dollar’s value declines steadily.

On the ferrous scrap side, the JOC notes steel mill buyers in Turkey have been favoring purchases in Russia, where the ruble is weak, and in neighboring Ukraine. Turkish buying, however, has started to bounce back in 2015 compared to a very slow year 2014.

Mill buyers in Taiwan, traditionally the second biggest export market for U.S. ferrous scrap, have continued to avoid U.S. purchases in 2015. “Taiwan’s market share (of U.S. scrap purchases) fell 32 percent year-over-year to 14 percent in the first five months of 2015,” the JOC writes.

Regionally, JOC and PIERS report the Port of New York and New Jersey handled the most international outbound shipments of scrap metal, “with a 17 percent share of the trade in terms of metric ton volume, down 3 percentage points over the same period in 2014.”

The JOC continues, “The Port of Los Angeles handled 14 percent, up 4 percentage points over the same period in 2014. The Port of Oakland handled 12 percent of the scrap metal export traffic, unchanged from its share in 2014.”