According to data from the Korea Iron and Steel Institute, scrap imports by South Korea increased by 5.7% in 2017, bringing the total to 6.176 million tons.
In FY17, Korea imported scrap from the United States by 42.1% to 515,000 tons while scrap imported from Japan increased by 17.4% to 4.014 million tons. However, from December 2017 alone, Korean scrap imports increased by 16.0% YoY to 628,000 tonnes, of which imports of scrap from Japan increased by 13.3% YoY to 404,000 tonnes and the volume of scrap imports from Russia increased YoY 16.8% to 119,000 tons, while the amount of scrap imported from the United States decreased by 396.0% from a year earlier.
Scrap experts predict that "South Korea's reliance on imported scrap is on the rise in 2017 and this trend will continue in 2018." They added that the small Korean steel mills' interest in scrap imports from Russia will be due to the price advantage getting bigger.