South Korea imported 518,611mt ferrous scrap in December 2019, down 2pc from 529,108mt in December 2018. The country’s scrap imports rose by 8pc in December from 480,428mt in the prior month, according to Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The imports from Japan which constituted 66pc of the total, rose by 22pc to 341,602mt in December 2019 from the prior year period. Other major exporters were United States, Russia and Australia at 14pc or 72,854mt, 10pc or 50,705mt and 5pc or 24,313mt, respectively.
South Korea’s 2019 ferrous scrap imports rose by 1.61pc to 6.495mn mt from 6.39mn mt in 2018. Japan remained the top supplier with 61.5pc or 4mn mt of ferrous scrap followed by United States with 17.1pc, Russia with 10.96pc, Hong Kong with 4pc and Australia with 3.8pc.
Imports from United States rose by 27pc from the prior year to 1.11mn mt in 2019. Korean steel mills like Hyundai Steel & Dongkuk Steel booked bulk scrap cargoes from the US in the first half of 2019. Imports from Russia fell 23pc to 0.71mn mt from 0.92mn mt in 2018.
Imports from Australia and New Zealand rose in 2019 by 484pc and 60pc, respectively, on lesser freight charges.
South Korea’s crude steel production in Jan-Nov 2019 fell marginally by 0.4pc to 66.032mn mt from the year prior according to the World Steel Association.
In 2019, exports of hot rolled flat steel from South Korea rose by11pc to 9.103mn mt from 8.213mn mt in 2018. India remained the top importer accounting for 15.7pc of exports, followed by Japan with a 14.9pc share, China with 11.7pc, Vietnam with 10.8pc and United States with 5.63pc.
Exports to India in 2019 were flat from the prior year and those to Japan rose 9.7pc to 1.36mn mt from 1.24mn mt in 2018. Exports to China were at 1.06mn mt and Vietnam at 0.98mn mt both up in 2019 by 22.5pc and 31.7pc, respectively.
In 2019, South Korea’s cold rolled flat steel exports remained flat at 3.84mn mt. China remained the top importer with 23.5pc, followed by Japan with 15.3pc Thailand with 13.6pc.