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Taiwan's scrap imports surge in January

Taiwan's ferrous scrap imports experienced a notable rebound in January, increasing by almost 30% compared to the previous year, attributed to growing demand and a recovery in seaborne scrap prices following a trough in late October.

Taiwan's scrap imports surge in January

Customs data reveal that scrap imports reached 278,214 tons in January, marking a 13.8% increase from the previous month and a substantial 28.3% surge from a year earlier. The resurgence in scrap imports can be traced back to the relatively low seaborne scrap prices observed in late October, which began to rise again in early November. Market participants noted that the imported scrap price hit a five-month low of $530 per ton on October 25, 2023, before gradually stabilizing. Rising scrap prices from November onwards likely stimulated increased buying interest among purchasers, who sought to avoid securing scrap at peak prices. Additionally, some buyers may have aimed to replenish their scrap inventories ahead of Taiwan's week-long lunar new year holiday in early February.

The United States remained the primary supplier of ferrous scrap to Taiwan in January, providing 120,483 tons, marking a 33.4% rise from December and a notable 35.5% increase from a year earlier. Meanwhile, scrap imports from Japan also rebounded, reaching 61,884 tons in January, a 45.6% increase from the previous year. However, this was down by 19.4% from December due to the impact of the yen's strengthening against the US dollar. Other significant exporters of ferrous scrap to Taiwan included Australia and the Dominican Republic, contributing 11,987 tons and 16,395 tons, respectively, in January.

The positive performance of Taiwan's domestic property sector, as indicated by a third consecutive monthly gain in the domestic property sector index in January, may further bolster the broader steel and scrap sector. The index rose by 0.65 points from the previous month to 106.49, influenced by a recovery in the domestic economy and stable stock market performance, according to the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research.

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