US exports of aluminum scrap declined by 24.8pc in April as global demand for the material weakened amid worldwide automotive and manufacturing shutdowns.
Aluminum scrap exports decreased to 124,525mt in April compared with 165,587mt a year earlier, despite exports of material other than used aluminum beverage cans (UBCs) or remelt scrap ingot (RSI) surging to a record high for the month, according to the latest data from the US Census Bureau.
Exports of scrap other than UBCs or RSI—a category made up mostly of nonferrous shred zorba—rose to 119,410mt in April from 2,126mt a year earlier, led by sales to China, which imported 26,360mt of the grade during the month.
Total exports of aluminum scrap to India were muted at 10,468mt amid a countrywide lockdown, which included a shutdown of the country’s ports, while South Korea imported 24,158mt and Malaysia took in 23,802mt. In North America, Mexico imported 879mt of aluminum scrap, while 362mt of scrap was shipped to Canada from the US.
US UBC exports declined in April by 97.4pc to 4,215mt from 163,263mt a year earlier, as domestic demand for the grade increased on falling supply. RSI exports surged to 900mt in April from 197mt in the same month last year.
In the first four months of 2020, US exports of aluminum scrap fell by 6pc to 582,848mt from619,868mt during the same period in 2019.
Aluminum scrap imports fell by 72.3pc in April to 14,735mt from 53,112mt during the same month last year. Year-to-date, imports of aluminum scrap declined by 78.1pc to 44,466mt from the same period last year.