China increasingly indulges in aluminium scrap imports from the US, representing a 39.5% growth Y-o-Y

AL Circle

The year-end statistics of 2023, as reported by the United States Census Bureau and the US Geological Survey, revealed a significant strategic shift in the non-ferrous scrap export market, particularly aluminium, with a notable increase in buyers from China.

China's aluminium scrap imports from the US grew significantly by 39.5 per cent in 2023


Through 2023, the United States exported 33.6 per cent of its aluminium scrap production. Domestic furnaces melted 4.06 million tonnes of scrap, of which 2.06 million tonnes were sent by sea container or crossed the border to Canada or Mexico.

Of the 2.06 million tonnes of scrap exported, China (including Hong Kong) received 212,000 tonnes, which accounted for 10 per cent of the exports. This figure equates to about 3.5 per cent of aluminium scrap collected in the US last year.

The above data also demonstrates that China's aluminium scrap imports from the US rose 39.5 per cent in 2023 from 152,000 tonnes a year ago.

Other nations that imported aluminium scrap from the US in 2023 included India, Malaysia, South Korea, and Thailand. India, leading the four, imported 452,000 tonnes of aluminium scrap from the US, followed by Malaysia, importing 361,000 tonnes; South Korea, 275,000 tonnes; and Thailand, 224,000 tonnes.

China's role in the US ferrous scrap export market has significantly diminished. In 2022, China imported 204,000 tonnes of US ferrous scrap, but in the subsequent year, this figure plummeted to a mere 19,000 tonnes, representing a staggering 91 per cent decline.

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