South Korea’s imports of aluminium scrap rose by 30.8pc and imports of copper scrap rose by 18pc in December, from a year ago as US scrap sellers found markets in South Korea after China imposed restrictions on scrap imports in the last quarter of 2019.
In 2019, aluminium and copper scrap imports into South Korea also rose by 14.5pc and 5pc, respectively, from 2018.
South Korea imported 84,430mt of aluminium scrap in December 2019, up by 19,888mt from a year ago. US continued to be the top supplier to South Korea and exported 23,856mt of aluminium scrap, up by 24.8pc from a year ago. Japan was the second-largest exporter of aluminium scrap to South Korea and exported 12,181mt, up by 35.4pc from 2018. In 2019, South Korea imported 885,942mt of aluminium scrap, up by 112,364mt from 2018.
South Korea imported 34,609mt of copper scrap in December 2019, up by 5,278mt from a year ago. US was the top supplier of copper scrap to South Korea, and exported 9,270mt, up by 9.2pc from a year ago. Japan was the second largest exporter or copper scrap to South Korea and exported 2,568mt, up by 119pc or 1,257mt from a year ago. In 2019, South Korea imported 355,385mt of copper scrap, up by 16,709mt from 2018.
South Korea is the fourth largest global importer of aluminium and copper scrap. It is also the third largest aluminium scrap importer in Asia, after China and India, and the third largest copper scrap importer after China and Malaysia.