US exports of aluminum scrap trended almost flat in March, as businesses worldwide suspended activities to contain COVID-19.
Aluminum scrap exports decreased by 0.1pc to 163,405mt in March from 163,534mt during the same month last year, as exports of scrap material other than used aluminum beverage cans (UBCs) or remelt scrap ingot (RSI) rose significantly, while UBCs exports declined steeply.
Exports of scrap other than UBCs or RSI—a category mostly comprised of nonferrous shred zorba—rose to 149,717mt in March from 3,201mt during the same period last year, however, UBC exports fell by 94.6pc to 8,410mt from 155,712mt during the same period. RSI exports increased by 14pc to 5,276mt in March from 4,619mt during the same month in 2019.
India remained the biggest aluminum UBCs importer, increasing its shipments for scrap other than UBCs or RSI in March. Overall, US aluminum scrap shipments to India increased to 34,131mt in March.
South Korea and Malaysia remained two other key scrap importers in Asia with shipments to both countries totaling 27,114mt and 24,418mt, respectively.
In North America, Mexico continued to import larger aluminum scrap shipments from the US than Canada. Mexico imported 15,263mt, while Canada imported 7,331mt of scrap from the US in March.
Year-to-date US exports of aluminum scrap rose by 0.9pc to 458,322mt through the first three months of the year from 454,280mt between January and March 2019.
Aluminum imports decreased by 78.3pc in March to 11,173mt from 51,403mt a year earlier, continuing the trend of declining imports since the beginning of the year. Year-to-date imports decreased by 80.2pc during the first three months of 2020 to 29,731mt from 149,931mt during the same three-month period last year.
Among other non-ferrous scrap, copper and nickel exports fell by 22.6pc and 13.2pc to 64,090mt and 2,667mt, respectively. However, lead rose by 9.5pc to 6,171mt and zinc increased by 6.7pc to 2,891mt.