India Fe scrap imports stay high in May, trend down

  • : Metals
  • 23/07/21

Indian ferrous scrap imports nearly doubled on the year in May, but continued to trend lower from the December peak, with flows from the UAE halved.

Imports of ferrous scrap — listed under HS codes 720430, 720441, 720449 and 720450 — climbed by 87.26pc on the year to 632,923t in May, customs figures show. And inbound shipments in May were 36.3pc higher than the five-year monthly average of 464,338t. But May imports were 10.72pc lower than April inflows, as imports continued to trend down from the December peak when the south Asian country shipped in 1.37mn t of ferrous scrap, which was the highest in records that stretch back to 2007.

But scrap imports from the UAE more than halved in May ahead of Indian port officials declaring there would be greater scrutiny on shipments from the country in June. The UAE is one of India's top three suppliers of ferrous scrap.

India imported 51,055t of ferrous scrap from the UAE in May, down by 57.58pc on the year.

And scrap flows to India from the UAE are likely to continue to fall in June and beyond, given the tighter scrutiny at ports.

Earlier in the same month, the Nhava Sheva port in India released a standard operating procedure for examination and verification of containers under its risk management system, with particular emphasis on goods originating from Pakistan, Yemen and Iran.

Yemen was the fourth-largest supplier of ferrous scrap to India in May, behind the country's usual top three of the UK, US and UAE (see table). But May was a bumper month for Yemen, with the monthly average for the previous 16 months standing at 16,462t, nearly 65pc lower than shipments from Yemen in May this year.

Rising year-on-year shipments from the US and UK, as well as many smaller suppliers, pushed imports higher in May.

India imported 100,244t and 52,326t of ferrous scrap from the UK and the US in May, up by 476.51pc and 199.25pc on the year, respectively.

India's top 10 ferrous scrap suppliers in May
CountryMay-22May-23Change (pc)
South Africa11,50420,63379.36%
Total imports337,990632,92387.26%
HS codes 720430, 720441, 720449, 720450

Indian ferrous scrap imports, Jan 2022-May 2023

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