Top 5 countries driving the growth of the United States’ aluminium scrap exports

AL Circle

The growing demand for recycled aluminium for making beverage cans and other packaging to achieve sustainability has led to a significant rise in the United States aluminium scrap exports to different parts of the world. According to the last data revealed by US Census Bureau, the United States’ aluminium scrap exports in February 2023 recorded a year-on-year surge of 358 per cent from 34,700 tonnes to 159,000 tonnes, thanks to the countries like Malaysia, India, South Korea, and Thailand that dramatically increased their scrap imports from the US. 

Top 5 countries driving the growth of the United States’ aluminium scrap exports

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In February 2023, Malaysia, India, South Korea, Thailand, and China were the top five importers of aluminium scrap from the United States, in the particular order.

Malaysia, in the said month, imported 31,000 tonnes of scrap from the US compared to 1,870 tonnes last year. Malaysia increased its aluminium scrap intake from the United States post Q1 2022 and peaked in August 2022 at 46,600 tonnes. On a month-on-month calculation, Malaysia’s aluminium scrap imports in February 2023 showed restraint compared to 30,700 tonnes, showed USGS data.

In the first two months of 2023, Malaysia’s aluminium scrap imports from the US totalled 61,800 tonnes versus 5,270 tonnes during the same period last year.

India also imported 31,000 tonnes of aluminium scrap in February 2023 compared to 29,300 tonnes in January. Thus, on a month-on-month basis, the import volume stood at 1,700 tonnes or 5.80 per cent higher. On a yearly basis, India’s aluminium scrap imports from the US registered a hike of 167 per cent from 11,600 tonnes. India was the second-highest importer of aluminium scrap from the United States after Canada in February 2023.

During January-February 2023, India’s scrap imports from the US amounted to 60,300 tonnes, up by 163.32 per cent from 22,900 tonnes a year earlier.

South Korea, the third largest importer of aluminium scrap from the United States, secured 24,200 tonnes in February 2023, which showed almost no change compared to 24,300 tonnes in January. But on a year-on-year basis, the imports reflected a 568.51 per cent surge from 3,620 tonnes. From January to February, South Korea imported 48,500 tonnes of scrap from the US versus 6,370 tonnes during the corresponding period of the previous year.

Global Aluminium Industry Outlook 2023

To Thailand, the United States exported 18,100 tonnes of aluminium scrap in February 2023, which was 32.12 per cent higher than 13,700 tonnes in January 2023, and 928.41 per cent more than 1,760 tonnes in February 2022. In the first two months of the ongoing year, the US exported 31,800 tonnes of aluminium scrap to Thailand, as against 3,510 tonnes during the same period last year.

China, the fifth largest destination of the United States aluminium scrap exports, procured 14,200 tonnes in February’23. On a month-on-month basis, China’s scrap imports from the US edged a drop of 11.80 per cent from 16,100 tonnes, while on a year-on-year calculation, reflected a leap of 465.74 per cent from 2,510 tonnes.

From January to February, China imported 30,200 tonnes of aluminium scrap from the United States – 531.8 per cent more than 4,780 tonnes a year earlier.

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