Ferrous exports continue decline, scrap plastic bounces back

Ferrous exports continue decline, scrap plastic bounces back

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

May 22, 2014

The latest figures on exports show scrap plastics bounced back from 2013 levels while ferrous exports continued a steep year-over-year (YOY) drop, falling 36.4 percent.

On the plastics front, March, the most recent month for which data is available, saw a rise of 13.8 percent from February 2014 export levels, with 397.04 million pounds of scrap plastics exported in March 2014. When matched against March 2013 levels – when China's Operation Green Fence was ramping up – the volume of plastic scrap exports was also up, by 18.0 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in March, at 19.68 cents per pound, was flat, up by just 1.4 percent from its February 2014 standing. When compared with its YOY level, the price was down by 7.9 percent.

Through March, at 1.10 billion pounds, the volume of recovered plastics exported was up 2.2 percent from its 2013 year-to-date (YTD) figure. At 19.48 cents per pound, however, the average price through February was down 3.5 percent from its 2013 YTD standing.

As for other exported materials, recovered paper exports saw small declines for the first three months of 2014, with 4.88 million metric tons exported, a 0.9 percent decrease from March 2013 levels. At $165 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported recovered paper in March was also a bit flat, up just 0.6 percent when compared with its March 2013 level.

Regarding ferrous scrap, however, the story continued to be one of strong declines, with the 3.43 million metric tons exported through March 2014 amounting to a sharp 36.4 percent YOY decrease. At $403 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported ferrous scrap was also down – 4.1 percent from March 2013 levels.

Lastly, the 887.5 million pounds of aluminum scrap exported in March 2014 equated to a 12.2 percent decrease from the first three months of 2013. At 78 cents per pound, the average price of exported aluminum scrap through March 2014 was down just 1.2 percent YOY.

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