South Korea's ferrous scrap imports down 8% m-o-m in May'21
South Korea, one of the largest buyers of seaborne ferrous scrap, recorded imports of the material at 0.36 million tonnes (mn t) in May’21, a decline of 8% m-o-...
South Korea, one of the largest buyers of seaborne ferrous scrap, recorded imports of the material at 0.36 million tonnes (mn t) in May'21, a decline of 8% m-o-m as compared to 0.39 mn t in Apr'21, as per data maintained with SteelMint.
Japan continued to be the largest supplier at 0.21 mn t in May'21, followed by the US and Russia.
Similarly, on a yearly basis, scrap imports fell by 13% as compared to 0.32 mn t in the corresponding period last year (CPLY).
Major factors behind decline in imports
Imports from Japan drop: Japan remained the largest scrap supplier with 0.21 mn t in May'21. However, imports from the country dropped by 22% m-o-m due to strong demand for domestic scrap. Increased freight rates, lesser availability of vessels, and disparity in bids and offers kept South Korean scrap traders away from making fresh bookings.
Japanese scrap prices up in Apr'21: SteelMint's monthly average price assessment for Japanese H2 scrap exports rose by JPY 600/t ($5) m-o-m to JPY 43,600/t ($396) FoB in Apr'21.
South Korea's imports from the US up: South Korean mills remained active in booking bulk cargoes for May'21 shipments. Due to high scrap prices in Russia and Japan, the local mills started booking cargoes from the US, which may keep Japanese scrap prices under pressure. South Korea's imports from the US increased from 81,907 tonnes (t) in Apr'21 to 84,424 t in May'21.
Hyundai Steel's operations at Diangjin suspended: South Korea's leading steel mill, Hyundai Steel's operations at the Diangjin works remained suspended after an accident in early May, resulting in less imported scrap procurement.
South Korean mills are booking bulk scrap cargoes of non-Japanese origin due to high scrap prices and disparity in bids and offers. In line with market expectations, South Korean mills may raise their bids to catch up with higher bids for scrap purchases following the hike in the Kanto tender.