SUS400 series scrap export for Thailand increased sharply
According to the Japanese statistics of foreign trade, export of stainless scrap was 19,529t in March, growing to 20,000t which have not seen for recent years. Reviewing the detail, we can see export of the SUS400 series scrap increasing sharply.
Transition of export of stainless scrap for Thailand has increased sharply in March as indicated in the following chart, which recorded 1,216t, the highest level on a single month basis. Judging from the export price of 55yen/kg FOB, it may contain scrap other than SUS400 scrap. In reviewing the export volume of Kinuura port in Aichi prefecture, which is outstandingly higher by Customs, the average price of 754 tons of exported scraps was 46yen/kg. Thus, most of the exported scrap was presumed to be SUS400 scrap. Also, 243 tons of scrap was exported to Thailand from Tomakomai port in Hokkaido, whose price was 47yen/kg.
Continuing and constant export for Thailand has been seen from Kinuura port since December; 252t(52yen/kg) in December, 508t(52yen/kg) in January and 623t(51yen/kg) in February. But, the export from Tomakomai port was seen for the first time in four months. And, the export of SUS400 scrap was clearly reported for the first time. Based on the previous records, those players who export SUS400 scrap at Kinuura port are thought to be trading houses such as T company and J company, or M company, a dealer of miscellaneous scraps.
Compared to the domestic SUS400 scrap price which remains around 40yen/kg, the export price for Thailand is attractive. There has been SUS400 scrap export for China and Taiwan. When CIF Taiwan remains 42-43yen/kg, the export price for Thailand is apparently high.
It is said that the SUS400 scrap exported to Thailand is sent to India via Thailand or is consumed at casting manufacturers in Thailand. In fact, most of them are presumed to be sold to India.
Domestic demand for SUS400 scrap has decreased in Japan for the past year. Especially, as one of big consumers of SUS400 scrap, JFE Chiba changed the production system mainly to consume ferrochrome last year (unable to consume chrome ore in reducing furnace), they have stopped to purchase SUS400 scrap and seem to have no plan to purchase it this year. Surplus of SUS400 has jumped to the eye since last year in Japan. As there are no domestic buyers, scrap dealers have continued their business by exporting even if the price was low.
The export price for Thailand is not so high, but the FOB Thailand is higher by more than 5yen/kg than FOB China and Taiwan. If the demand for Thailand continues, export markets of SUS400 will be important for Japan where SUS400 scrap is in surplus. However, a scrap dealer said, "Traders in Thailand purchasing Japanese SUS400 scrap don't have so good background, so trading with them has risk accompanied.”