Aluminium scrap exports by the UK to rise in 2018 after a dip in the year earlier

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Since 2002, the European Union has been a continuous net exporter of aluminium scrap. More than 80% of the scrap generated in the EU heads to Asia, while 37% to China and 28% to India.

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The aluminium scrap generated in the UK is also more than the needs of the UK foundry industry and therefore, the secondary refiners have developed export markets for their products. The annual production of primary metal in the UK is approximately 200,000 tonnes, out of which more than double the amount is recovered from recycling aluminium scrap, and the extra is exported to other countries.

According to the global export-import data, the aluminium scrap exports by the United Kingdom this year is likely to rise after a dip last year. In 2017, the estimated aluminium scrap export volume by the UK was around 379,476 tonnes while this year, it is likely to be at 423,943 tonnes, up 12 per cent from the previous year. But the volume is still estimated to stand low this year compared to that in 2016 when the estimated aluminium scrap export by the UK was at 510,281 tonnes. This means the estimated export volume in 2016 was 34 per cent higher from 2017 and 20 per cent higher from 2018.

Nonetheless, the United Kingdom’s revenue from aluminium scrap export to expected to stand higher both from 2017 and 2016, per the data shared by the global export-import analysis. In 2016, the export revenue was at US$499 million, which dropped around 27 per cent in the year next and came in at US$ 362 million. However, this year is estimated to break the record as the UK’s aluminium scrap exports revenue is likely to be US$ 500 million, 20 percentage points up from 2016 and 38 per cent up from 2017.

India is expected to be the top importer of aluminium scrap from the UK this year, securing a total amount of 91,595 tonnes, followed by Germany 64,617 tonnes and China 51,642 tonnes. The Netherlands and Belgium are also significant scrap importers from the UK. Each of them will purchase 37,168 tonnes and 29,230 tonnes, respectively.

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