Data from the US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) shows that exports of recyclate to China from the United States were valued at $8.7 billion (£5.4 billion) in 2010.
This was an increase of 42 per cent in 2010 compared to the year before and remained the largest market for US exported material.
Canada was the next largest market with exports increasing by 27 per cent to $2.8 billion. Next was Turkey with $1.9 billion which increased 80 per cent, then South Korea with $1.7 billion (+34 per cent) and Taiwan $1.4 billion (+46 per cent).
So far this year, ferrous scrap represents the largest export material to all markets at $8.15 billion, which has increased by 52 per cent on the same period last year. Copper scrap is next highest at $3.9 billion (+54 per cent), and aluminium scrap follows at $3.1 billion (+34 per cent). Recovered paper and fibre exports so far this year are valued at $2.9 billion (+19 per cent) and plastic scrap worth $788 million (+16 per cent) has been exported.