The first deals signed by Chinese companies after rules changed
on December 31 to officially allow the restart of scrap imports to China have all been for vessels of Japanese material.
If this continues, China’s import strategy is likely to pose a great challenge to other territories that depend on the supply of Japanese scrap, such as Vietnam, Taiwan and Bangladesh, sources said.
Japanese scrap exports experienced a landmark year in 2020, with monthly volumes regularly rising to all-time highs. Japan exported 8.64 million tonnes of steel scrap in January-November 2020, according to official customs data, up by 25.4% from 6.89 million tonnes in the same period of 2019.
Vietnam accounted for the largest volume during the period, at 3.12 million tonnes, followed by South Korea with 2.71 million tonnes. Taiwan imported 1.07 million tonnes of Japanese scrap.
Significant volumes were also purchased...