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Japan’s domestic ferrous scrap market continued to fall in June, albeit more slightly than in May. Market prices were kept down by low-priced billets leaking from Russia and reduced crude steel production around the world.

On June 9, the Kanto tender was won with a bid of Yen 53,560 per tonne (US$ 391) for a mere 5500 tons, which was Yen 13,450 or US$ 98.18 cheaper than the April bid. There was a two-month gap in completed bids because the May one was unsuccessful.

According to the World Steel Association, crude steel production in May across the 64 reporting countries increased 3.7% from the previous month to 169.483 million tonnes but the total was down 3.5% when compared to May 2021 - the tenth consecutive month of year-on-year declines.

According to the bulletin from the Japanese Steel Federation, domestic crude steel production in May showed an increase of 7.9% over the previous month but was down 4.2% year on year at 8,064,900 tonnes. Production thus exceeded 8 million tonnes for the first time since November 2021. Owing to the shortage of semiconductors, vehicle manufacturers’ production has been stagnant.

According to the Ministry of Finance and Trade Statistics, Japan’s ferrous scrap exports in May fell 15.4% from the previous month to 562,289 tonnes. The total was 19.6% lower than in the same month of 2021, meaning 12 consecutive months of year-on-year declines. Exports to the Republic of Korea were 30.8% lower than in the previous month at 253,753 tonnes but up 18.5% on May 2021 for a fifth consecutive month of year-on-year increases.