Bulk iron scrap imports surge in Bangladesh
Bangladesh, an emerging steel market and one of the growing importers of ferrous scrap in Asia, has witnessed a sharp increase in bulk ferrous scrap imports in 2019, according to India-based SteelMint.
From January to October 2019, bulk scrap imports to Bangladesh were recorded at 1.25 million metric tons, witnessing a significant increase of 39 percent year over year compared with 0.9 million metric tons during the same period in 2018.
Rising melting capacity and expansion plans of major steelmakers in the country have led to increased ferrous scrap demand, while even more steelmakers are now booking scrap through bulk cargo vessels compared with two major steelmakers last year, SteelMint says.
During the 2019 period, a total of 46 bulk vessels of ferrous scrap arrived in Bangladesh's seaport, which is a sharp increase compared with 31 bulk vessels during the same period in 2018, the organization says.
In terms of preferred origins for bulk scrap to Bangladesh, the US has remained the largest supplier in 2019, with 0.55 million metric tons; however, its share in total bulk scrap imported to Bangladesh decreased from 68 percent in 2018 to 44 percent in 2019.
According to SteelMint, the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia have considerably increased their share of ferrous scrap shipments this year. Bulk scrap imports from the UK increased from 13 percent in 2018 to 23 percent in 2019. Interestingly, out of the 47 bulk vessels with scrap that arrived at the Chittagong Port in 2019, Japan contributed 13 bulk vessels with nearly 0.2 million metric tons, doubling its share compared with the same time span in 2018.
In October 2019, bulk scrap imports to the country increased by 19 percent month over month. After the government-imposed import duty made billet imports to Bangladesh nonviable since 2015, scrap imports gradually went on to completely replace billet imports to Bangladesh by 2018.
Further, the share of bulk vessels in the total scrap imports to the country has also been observing an increase since then, SteelMint says.
Bangladesh scrap imports will be analyzed further at SteelMint's 3rd Steel and Raw Material Conference March 23-24 in Chittagong, Bangladesh.