Copper exports from the US increased by 22pc in H1 2021 to 443,899mt from 363,506mt in the same period last year, the US Census Bureau reported. In June, copper exports increased by 24pc 77,349mt compared to 62,289mt in the same month last year.
In June, China remained the biggest purchaser of US copper scrap, with 4,217mt exported to the Asian nation. In the second quarter, China imported close to 17,000mt of US copper scrap, though the volumes fell in June from around 6,440mt in May.
Malaysia replaced South Korea as the second-largest importer of US copper scrap with 1,484mt during the month under review, more than double of 551mt imported in May. Japan followed with 750mt. Exports to South Korea, however, declined from 1,362mt in May to 560mt in June. Mexico remained the only North American country to continue importing copper scrap from the US, though shipments to this country also fell monthly.
Copper exports growth in H1 2021 was led by refined copper shipments that grew 79pc to 137,910mt from 76,965mt in H1 2020. Exports of #2 copper scrap followed with a 28pc increase to 58,279mt from 45,544mt in the same period.
Refined copper exports in June more than doubled to 25,651mt from 12,761mt in the same month last year, while #2 copper scrap exports in the same period increased by 36pc to 9,560mt from 7,041mt.
The only scrap grade that declined in the first half was bare bright. Exports of this grade fell by 12pc in H1 to 31,770mt from 35,976mt in H1 2020. In June, this grade’s shipments dropped by 27pc to 4,718mt from 6,446mt in the same month last year.