Exports of ferrous scrap from the Netherlands and Belgium totalled 5.41mn t in January-June, up by 4.64pc on the year, Eurostat data show.
The majority of the increase came from higher shipments to Egypt and India, which together accounted for more than 10pc of Dutch and Belgian scrap exports in the first half of this year compared with 6.46pc a year ago.
The Netherlands and Belgium sent 371,000t of scrap to Egypt in January-June, up by 39.5pc on the year, while exports to India almost trebled to 187,000t.
Egypt and India emerged as significant export markets outside Turkey for Dutch and Belgian scrap exporters this year after Cairo and New Delhi implemented policies that favour domestic steel production in 2017.
Egypt imposed anti-dumping duties on rebar imports from China, Turkey and Ukraine in June last year, while the Indian government gave preference to domestic steel products in all federal tenders in May. India has also imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of various steel products, including flat steel in April last year.
These policies helped Egypt and India boost crude steel production by 14.08pc and 7.19pc on the year to 3.8mn t and 53.5mn t in January-June, respectively.
Egyptian and Indian crude steel production and scrap consumption are expected to see further growth in the coming years as a number of projects come on line.
Ferrous scrap exports from the Netherlands and Belgium to other major buyers in Asia and Africa were mixed.
Dutch and Belgian exports to Pakistan rose by 21.4pc on the year to 51,000t in January-June, while deliveries to Vietnam increased to 66,000t from no shipments last year. But exports to Bangladesh fell to 21,000t from 100,000t a year ago.
Morocco, another major buyer in Africa, took 70,000t in the first half of this year, down by 11.4pc year on year.
Dutch and Belgian seaborne exports to other destinations were mixed.
Deliveries to Turkey, which remained the largest buyer of Dutch and Belgian scrap, were virtually flat on the year in January-June at 2.35mn t. But Turkey's market share of Dutch and Belgian exports fell to 43.49pc in January-June from 45.94pc in the same period last year.
Shipments to the US, which imposed a 25pc tariff on steel imports in March, rose by 36.1pc on the year to 181,000t.
But short-sea exports to France, Spain and Portugal were lower. Shipments to France were 14.2pc lower year on year at 296,000t in January-June, while deliveries to Spain fell by 23.7pc to 130,000t. Exports to Portugal almost halved in the same period, falling to 65,000t from 126,000t.
Exports to Germany and Luxembourg, of which a significant volume is transferred on land or through the inland waterway system, rose by 31.8pc and 39.9pc year on year to 593,000t and 214,000t, respectively. But transport restrictions on the Rhine river in the summer months and the expansion of Germany's toll system in July could limit exports to Germany and Luxembourg in the second half of this year.
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