Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

South Korean ferrous scrap imports in July dropped to a 15-year low, according to customs data available with Davis Index. Ferrous scrap imports in July dropped by 45pc to 3,10,649mt from 5,66,923mt in July 2019. 


Scrap imports dropped as South Korean steel mills cuts production in line with slump in global steel demand. Major South Korean producers including Hyundai Steel, Posco and Dongkuk Steel either shut production at some plant or operated limited shifts. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic severely reduced finished steel demand from automakers and shipbuilding in the domestic as well as major overseas markets.    


South Korea’s Fe scrap imports by country (mt)
Top exportersJulyJuneMoM change


South Korean mills reduced scrap purchase amid weak steel demand. Hyundai Steel and Posco did not place tenders for Japanese scrap and no major bulk cargo booking from the US were heard in July. Only a couple of small bulk cargoes from Russia and Australia contributed to July month’s ferrous scrap imports. 


Domestic scrap availability in Korea remained comparatively higher than demand from local steelmakers forcing a few supplier yards to even export high grade scrap like busheling to Malaysian and other South east Asian markets in July.  


In Jan-July period, South Korean ferrous scrap imports dropped by 35pc to 2.719 mn mt from 4.180 mn mt in the prior year period.

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