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International Scrap Trade Database

Commodities

The scrap market has become increasingly global in nature in recent decades. Figures from the United Nations Comtrade Database show that in 2015 alone, exports of all scrap commodities from reporting countries approached 180 million metric tons valued at more than $86 billion. While the United States is the largest exporter of recycled commodities in the world and China is the world’s dominant consumer of commodities (including scrap), the scrap marketplace is far from bilateral, stretching to virtually every corner of the globe.

The free and fair trade of scrap commodities provides tremendous economic and environmental benefits stemming not only from scrap’s attractiveness as a low-cost raw material input for manufacturers, but also due to the energy savings, reduced depletion of natural resources, and reduction of material sent to landfills associated with scrap recycling. Maintaining open markets for scrap is vital to ensuring that recycling’s economic and environmental benefits are fully realized.

The tables below illustrate the flow of recyclables across the globe by major scrap commodity and importing/exporting economies, as well as the total amount of scrap traded globally: Global Scrap Volumes

Please note: Due to a change in how countries have been reporting their trade data to the UN, this year’s (2019) publication is preliminary to remain consistent with our spring publication of the tables. There will be an update near the end of summer. Please contact our Commodities Research Analyst, Bernie Lee,  if you have any questions, concerns, or special requests.

Flow of Recyclables across the Globe

FileTypeSizePublication DateDownload
World Flow Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF186.54 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Aluminum IM Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF167.44 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Aluminum EX Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF167.47 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Copper IM Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF167.95 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Copper Ex Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF168.05 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Ferrous IM Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF138.89 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Ferrous EX Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF168.85 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Lead IM Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF166.76 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Lead Ex Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF167.12 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Nickel IM Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF167.08 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Nickel Ex Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF166.87 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Paper EX Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF167.64 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Paper Im Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF167.58 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Plastic Im Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF167.08 KB14 May, 2019 Download
Plastic Ex Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF167.41 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Zinc Im Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF167.12 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download
Zinc Ex Comtrade 2019 - 28Mar2019PDF167.08 KB20 Apr, 2017 Download

Have Questions?

ISRI members may contact ISRI Research Analyst Bernie Lee for custom trade reports by commodity, trading partner, volume and value.