More than 60% of importing countries recorded a drop in trade volumes

Global trade in ferrous scrap in January-March 2024 decreased by 5% compared to the same period in 2023 – to 14.3 million tons. More than 60% of importing countries (14 out of 22) recorded a drop in performance. It is reported by BigMint.

Turkey continues to hold a leading position among the world’s scrap importers. Imports of raw materials in January-March 2024 amounted to 5.3 million tons, which is 8% more than in the previous year. Steel production in the country increased by 28% y/y during the period, as local producers overcame the challenges of a depreciating lira, inflation and high energy prices through new investments, capacity and value-added products.

India remained the second-largest importer, but its imports fell by more than 29% y/y – to 2.3 million tons, weighing on the global total.

The USA, the third-largest importer and the largest exporter, also reduced its imports by 9% y/y – to 1.1 mln tons.

In addition, the main importers in East and Southeast Asia – South Korea (-52% y/y), Taiwan (-2% y/y), Thailand (-20% y/y) and Indonesia (-7% y/y) – reduced their scrap imports, which also affected the global figure.

Global scrap imports declined as a result of the Red Sea crisis. This problem led to a temporary reduction in market capacity and a sharp rise in freight rates. Amid high logistics costs and longer delivery times, importers were forced to look for alternative suppliers and reduce order volumes.

As GMK Center reported earlier, global consumption of steel scrap by steel enterprises in 2023 decreased by 12% compared to 2022 to 411.28 million tons. The figure contrasts with a slight increase in global steel production, up 0.2% to 1.155 billion tons.

BCG expects global scrap trade to decline by about 15% by 2030, from 110 million tons to 93 million tons. Currently, global trade accounts for about 17% of the world’s annual scrap collection (≈110 million tons). The US and EU markets will experience the main decline in trade, in particular due to restrictive measures.