Scrap exports surge to new high
U.S. scrap exports surged to $3.36 billion in April 2011, beating the prior monthly record of $3.28 billion set in July 2008, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) said.
Scrap exports also hit a new monthly record as measured by tonnage: 4.66 million metric tons in April, beating prior record from June 2009 of 4.59 million metric tons.
For the first four months of 2011, the value of scrap exports reached $11.8 billion, up 35 percent from January 2010 to April 2010.
By commodity type, scrap exports for the first four months were:
' Ferrous scrap, $3.1 billion, up 43 percent over the first four months of 2010.
' Copper scrap, $1.6 billion, up 54 percent.
' Aluminum scrap, $1.3 billion, up 42 percent.
' Recovered Paper, $1.3 billion, up 18 percent.
' Plastic scrap, $321 million, up 6 percent.
Robin Wiener, ISRI president, said U.S. scrap is exported to more than 155 countries around the globe.
'This data shows that the United States has more than ample supply of scrap to meet demand both at home and abroad,' said Joe Pickard, ISRI chief economist and director of commodities. 'For example, recent studies show that the supply of obsolete ferrous scrap in the United States is in excess of 1 billion tons.'
Pickard noted that as overseas demand for scrap has increased, government figures from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) indicate U.S. ferrous scrap consumption increased to 14 million metric tons in the first quarter of 2011, up from 12.6 million metric tons in the first quarter of 2010.