[Ferro-Alloys.com] Japan's ferrous scrap exports in November slowed from a 2020 high in October as a surge in domestic scrap prices reduced supply available for export.
Exports fell by 25pc to 688,829t from October but increased on the year, Japan customs data showed. January-November exports rose by 25pc from a year earlier to 8.64mn t.
Shipments to Vietnam fuelled gains in October. That restocking built adequate stocks across major buyers in Vietnam and South Korea before seaborne prices began to rise sharply. Rapid gain in seaborne price have since sidelined spot buyers in those countries.
The weekly H2 scrap fob Japan index rose by $56/t, or 20pc, from 30 October to $330/t on 4 December.
A rebound in Japan's auto manufacturing led to a rapid increase in its domestic scrap demand and lifted prices. H2 delivered to Tokyo Steel's Tahara plant rose by ¥5,500 ($53/t), 20.7pc, to ¥32,000/t in November. Domestic suppliers have slowed sales as they expect higher prices on strong demand and tight supply.
Many Japanese suppliers also maintained stocks in November-December in anticipation that China would restart scrap imports in early 2021. China's government finalised standards for scrap imports and the first spot deals from Japan were settled on 1 January.
Japan is expected to be the main ferrous scrap supplier for China because of its geographic advantage. Suppliers are confident that scrap prices will be strongly supported by Chinese buyers in the market.
The au Jibun Bank Japan manufacturing purchasing managers' index in December rose to 50 from 49 in November, its highest levels since April 2019.
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