Asia scrap demand overcomes Covid-19 to increase in 2020

The demand for steel scrap in most major Asian markets increased during 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic because of billet arbitrage opportunities and the recovery in steel consumption in the region, market sources have said.

Vietnam’s total ferrous scrap import volumes increased by 11.4% year-on-year to 6.27 million tonnes in 2020 from 5.63 million tonnes in 2019.
Japan was the key source. Scrap imports from Japan increased by more than 50% year-on-year to 3.4 million tonnes in 2020 from 2.19 million tonnes in 2019, according to Vietnam customs data.
Ferrous scrap under HS code 720449100, known as H2-grade material, accounted for 2,192,347 tonnes of the volumes exported to Vietnam, while scrap under HS code 720441000 accounted for 519,158 tonnes, according to Japan’s Ministry of Finance. Scrap under HS code 720449900 accounted for 191,317 tonnes.

Volumes from the United States and Australia fell. Still, the US was Vietnam’s second-largest supplier, sending 1.03 million tonnes in 2020 compared with 1.23 million tonnes in 2019. Hong Kong exported 458,932 tonnes to Vietnam in 2020, up from...


Lee Allen

Paul Lim

January 26, 2021

14:06 GMT