Exports to Vietnam decreased by 13.6% year-on-year to 6.3 million tonnes, the lowest level since 2011, according to Japanese customs data, while exports to Vietnam declined by 41.5% year-on-year.
Exports of metal scrap fell 13.6% year-over-year to 6.3 million tons, the lowest level since 2011, according to Japanese customs data, while exports to Vietnam saw their biggest annual drop since 2021, down 41.5%
Vietnam's steel industry struggled to survive in the second half of 2022 due to stagnation in domestic and export steel demand, causing Vietnam's final steel production to reduce by 12% year-on-year. Steelmakers, on the other hand, started to look for local scrap sources instead. Exports to South Korea and Taiwan moderately recovered from the previous year, supported by strong metal scrap consumption and steel production.
Domestic scrap demand in Japan remained strong throughout the year, resulting in limited tonnage in export markets, given low scrap production rates.
Crude steel production from Japanese electric arc furnaces in 2022 registered a smaller annual decline of 2.3% compared to oxygen furnaces, which decreased 9.1% from 2021.
According to market participants, Japanese scrap exports could recover in 2023 due to renewed optimism and recovery in demand from Vietnam, with China reopening in December 2022 after tight Covid-19 restrictions.