A total of 28-29 million mt of semi-finished steel production per year in the ASEAN-6 region requires at least 30 million mt of scrap to be fed into the production line, according to the South East Asia Iron and Steel Institute (SEAISI). 70 percent of the region’s scrap demand is met domestically, while the remaining 30 percent comes from imports.
Looking at the countries individually, Indonesia’s scrap demand was 8.4 million mt in 2019, rising only two percent in the first half of 2020, while scrap demand which was 3.2 million mt in 2019 in Malaysia increased by 56 percent year on year in the first half of 2020 due to the hike in steelmaking capacity. 85-90 percent of Malaysia’s scrap need is sourced domestically, SEAISI noted.
Regarding the Philippines, which is one of the two major scrap exporting countries in the region, scrap demand dropped by half in the first half of 2020, after increasing significantly by 30 percent to 2.2 million mt in 2019. In 2020, the scrap imports of the country were as low as 5,000 mt, while exports were as high as 500,000 mt, with the largest destinations being Pakistan, South Korea, Taiwan and India. Apart from the Philippines, Singapore is also another country that is a major scrap exporter in the ASEAN-6 region. Scrap imports in Singapore were 80,000 mt, while exports amounted to 714,531 mt in 2019. In the first half of 2020, the country’s scrap exports dropped significantly by 37 percent year on year, amid the slowdown in steel production in many countries due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
According to SEAISI, Thailand’s scrap demand declined by four percent year on year to 2.2 million mt in the first half of 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19. Around 25 percent of total scrap demand in Thailand was met by imports. Vietnam, with a significant blast furnace production, sourced half of its scrap demand of 4.6 million mt in the first half of 2020 domestically.