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Japan scrap steel prices spike as China prepares to resume imports

Harvested from demolished buildings, material is a steelmaking input

A worker at Chinese steel mill cuts scrap metal. Beijing may lift import restrictions on the raw material.

TOKYO -- Scrap steel exported from Japan is trading at a 13-month high on reduced supply and rebounding demand in Asia. Speculation that China may relax import restrictions and gobble up supply is also adding to the frenzy.

South Korea-bound prices of H2 scrap steel, generated from building demolition work, stand at around 26,750 yen ($254) per ton, roughly the same as what electric furnace operators around Tokyo pay. These prices are up 19% and 24%, respectively, from lows in mid-July.

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