TOKYO -- Exports of steel scrap from Japan are under pressure as quality control problems have alienated customers. Toughened regulations in Japan and import restrictions by China are already affecting exports of low-quality scrap, while a major user in South Korea is starting to reduce procurement of benchmark scrap generated in Japan.
Steel scrap materials are acquired from such sources as construction sites and scrapped automobiles and are used by electric furnace steelmakers for steel production. Of the 80 million tons traded around the world every year, Japan exports 8 million tons, or roughly 20% of the amount generated domestically. In other words, exports from Japan account for 10% of the global volume of trade.