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Metal scrap

October 2020 crude steel production

Due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of this month’s figures are estimates that may be revised with next month’s production update.

In Asia, China produced 92.2 Mt of crude steel in October 2020, an increase of 12.7% compared to October 2019. India produced 9.1 Mt of crude steel in October 2020, up 0.9% on October 2019. Japan produced 7.2 Mt of crude steel in October 2020, down 11.7% on October 2019. South Korea’s crude steel production for October 2020 was 5.9 Mt, down by 1.8% on October 2019.

In the European Union, Germany produced 3.4 Mt of crude steel in October 2020, up 3.1% on October 2019. Italy produced 2.1 Mt of crude steel in October 2020, down 4.6% on October 2019. Spain produced 1.1 Mt of crude steel in October 2020, down 7.7% on October 2019.

In North America, the United States produced 6.1 Mt of crude steel in October 2020, a decrease of 15.3% compared to October 2019.

In the C.I.S., production is estimated to be 8.4 Mt in October 2020, up 4.7% on October 2019. Ukraine produced 1.7 Mt of crude steel in October 2020, up 5.9% on October 2019.

In other Europe, Turkey’s crude steel production for October 2020 was 3.2 Mt, up by 19.4% on October 2019.

In South America, Brazil produced 2.8 Mt of crude steel in October 2020, up 3.5% on October 2019.

Crude steel production increases in September

Due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of this month’s figures are estimates that may be revised with next month’s production update.

World crude steel production was 1,347.4 Mt in the first nine months of 2020, down by 3.2% compared to the same period in 2019. Asia produced 1,001.7 Mt of crude steel in the first nine months of 2020, an increase of 0.2% over the same period of 2019. The EU produced 99.4 Mt of crude steel in the first nine months of 2020, down by 17.9% compared to the same period in 2019. Crude steel production in the C.I.S. was 74.3 Mt in the first nine months of 2020, down 2.5% compared to the same period in 2019. North America’s crude steel production in the first nine months of 2020 was 74.0 Mt, a decrease of 18.2% compared to the same period in 2019.

China produced 92.6 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, an increase of 10.9% compared to September 2019. India produced 8.5 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, down 2.9% on September 2019. Japan produced 6.5 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, down 19.3% on September 2019. South Korea’s crude steel production for September 2020 was 5.8 Mt, up by 2.1% on September 2019.

Germany produced 3.0 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, down 9.7% on September 2019. Italy produced 1.8 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, down 18.7% on September 2019. France produced 1.0 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, down 20.1% on September 2019. Spain produced 0.9 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, down 20.7% on September 2019.

Production in the C.I.S. is estimated to be 8.2 Mt in September 2020, down 0.3% on September 2019. Ukraine produced 1.7 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, down 5.4% on September 2019.

The United States produced 5.7 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, a decrease of 18.5% compared to September 2019.

Turkey’s crude steel production for September 2020 was 3.2 Mt, up by 18.0% on September 2019.

Brazil produced 2.6 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, up 7.5% on September 2019.

Crude steel production increases in September

Due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of this month’s figures are estimates that may be revised with next month’s production update.

World crude steel production was 1,347.4 Mt in the first nine months of 2020, down by 3.2% compared to the same period in 2019. Asia produced 1,001.7 Mt of crude steel in the first nine months of 2020, an increase of 0.2% over the same period of 2019. The EU produced 99.4 Mt of crude steel in the first nine months of 2020, down by 17.9% compared to the same period in 2019. Crude steel production in the C.I.S. was 74.3 Mt in the first nine months of 2020, down 2.5% compared to the same period in 2019. North America’s crude steel production in the first nine months of 2020 was 74.0 Mt, a decrease of 18.2% compared to the same period in 2019.

China produced 92.6 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, an increase of 10.9% compared to September 2019. India produced 8.5 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, down 2.9% on September 2019. Japan produced 6.5 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, down 19.3% on September 2019. South Korea’s crude steel production for September 2020 was 5.8 Mt, up by 2.1% on September 2019.

Germany produced 3.0 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, down 9.7% on September 2019. Italy produced 1.8 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, down 18.7% on September 2019. France produced 1.0 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, down 20.1% on September 2019. Spain produced 0.9 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, down 20.7% on September 2019.

Production in the C.I.S. is estimated to be 8.2 Mt in September 2020, down 0.3% on September 2019. Ukraine produced 1.7 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, down 5.4% on September 2019.

The United States produced 5.7 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, a decrease of 18.5% compared to September 2019.

Turkey’s crude steel production for September 2020 was 3.2 Mt, up by 18.0% on September 2019.

Brazil produced 2.6 Mt of crude steel in September 2020, up 7.5% on September 2019.

China’s scrap generation to remain on steep growth curve

As a consequence, “we do see China’s steel scrap generation growing rapidly over the next decade”, guest speaker Ian Roper told the BIR Ferrous Division webinar on October 14.

The presentation made by Mr Roper, who is General Manager of Shanghai Metals Market, suggested a generation figure for China of more than 350 million tonnes per annum by the end of this decade. “We are expecting obsolete scrap volumes to be growing 10 to 20 million tonnes a year,” he noted. Alongside increasing scrap generation and collection, China was massively boosting its electric arc furnace capacity, with “60 million tonnes of new projects coming on in the next few years”.

Although steel scrap shipments into China are banned at present, discussions have been taking place about a possible reclassification that would enable imports to resume. However, as Mr Roper stressed, a similar reclassification process had begun some time earlier for certain non-ferrous scraps but official sign-off from customs was still awaited. Despite recent news reports to the contrary, Mr Roper insisted: “We are not anticipating steel scrap being allowed into China from early next year. We think that ultimately there will be a change – some kind of reclassification – but that is more likely to happen at the end of next year.”

In his “World Steel Recycling in Figures” update for the January-June 2020 period, the BIR Ferrous Division’s Statistics Advisor Rolf Willeke noted that China’s steel scrap usage for crude steel production dropped to 93.75 million tonnes in the first half of this year from 101.13 million tonnes in January-June 2019, but he also emphasised that the country’s steel scrap consumption had been 25.7% higher in this year’s second quarter when compared to quarter one.

In January-June 2020, EU steel scrap exports slid 10.7% year on year to 9.776 million tonnes and US overseas shipments edged 2.3% lower to 8.401 million tonnes, whereas Japan bucked the generally downward trend in registering year-on-year export growth of 38.2% to 4.884 million tonnes, Mr Willeke added.

In a series of market reports, Zain Nathani of the Nathani Group of Companies said ferrous scrap demand would remain “subdued” in India for the remainder of the year whereas Pakistan and Bangladesh had been receiving regular bulk and containerized shipments from major exporters such as the USA, the UK and Japan. Denis Reuter of Germany-based TSR Recycling GmbH & Co. KG noted that scrap prices had been generally stable in most European countries at the start of October while Turkish mills had enjoyed some success in pushing prices lower. And providing the US market report in the absence of George Adams of SA Recycling, his company colleague Tom Knippel said scrap intakes were now similar to pre-COVID levels but mill capacity utilization rates were down from around 82% in 2019 to below 70%.

Representing South Africa’s Metal Recyclers Association (MRA), Quintin Starkey confirmed that his government had implemented a modified preferential pricing system for scrap, to remain in place until an export tax was introduced some time in 2021. The MRA was lobbying the government to adopt an ad valorem duty of 10% on ferrous scrap and 5% on non-ferrous scrap with a duty-free rebate system for metals not consumed locally and/or when supply exceeded demand.

BIR Ferrous Division President Greg Schnitzer of US-based Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. told webinar viewers that everyone should be “proud” of how the scrap sector had withstood some “difficult” conditions over the course of 2020. And he added: “It’s nice to see worldwide demand for scrap and buyers we haven’t seen in years.” He looked forward to a “strong finish” to 2020 carrying forward into 2021.

BIR: “World Steel Recycling in Figures” updated

Figures from worldsteel for the first six months of 2020 confirm a year-on-year decrease in global crude steel production of 6% to 873 million tonnes, as against 928 million tonnes in the same period of 2019.

Data in the corresponding table for key countries and regions show a year-on-year crude steel production increase for China alone (+1.4% to 499.011 million tonnes). Conversely, production declines were registered by the EU-28 (-18.7% to 68.278 million tonnes), the USA (-18.3% to 36.198 million tonnes), Japan (-17.4% to 42.209 million tonnes), Russia (-0.1% to 36.243 million tonnes), the Republic of Korea (-9.5% to 32.592 million tonnes) and Turkey (-4.1% to 16.290 million tonnes).

Steel scrap use in key countries and regions down by 10.5%

For January-June 2020, total steel scrap use in the key countries and regions covered by BIR was 209.834 million tonnes, a 10.5% decrease from the 243.536 million tonnes for the same period of 2019. All the countries and regions recorded a year-on-year downtrend.

In the first six months of 2020, there was a 7.3% drop in China’s steel scrap usage for crude steel production to 93.75 million tonnes, as compared to 101.13 million tonnes for the same period in 2019. However, Chinese steel scrap consumption of 52.22 million tonnes in the second quarter of 2020 was 25.7% higher than the 41.53 million tonnes consumed in the first quarter. These figures confirm that China remained the world’s largest steel scrap user during the period under review.

Also in the first half of 2020, steel scrap usage for crude steel production dropped in the EU-28 (-13.3% to 39.812 million tonnes), the USA (-18.9% to 20.2 million tonnes), Russia (-7.3% to 14.551 million tonnes), Japan (-19.8% to 14.294 million tonnes) and the Republic of Korea (-8.3% to 13.569 million tonnes). Meanwhile, Turkey reported a steel scrap usage decrease of 4.3% to 13.658 million tonnes, with the reduction in scrap-intensive electric furnace production (-4.3% to 11.419 million tonnes) being slightly more pronounced than the drop in the country’s crude steel production (-4.1%).

The table illustrates that the Coronavirus pandemic had a more negative influence on global steel scrap use than it did on crude steel production.

Turkey increases overseas steel scrap purchases by 7.8%

The first six months of 2020 brought a 7.8% year-on-year upturn in Turkey’s overseas steel scrap purchases to 9.009 million tonnes, confirming the country’s position as the world’s foremost steel scrap importer. Also higher over the same period was Switzerland’s steel scrap import total (+10.2% to 0.238 million tonnes).

Conversely, a steep drop in overseas purchases was recorded by the Republic of Korea, the world’s third-largest steel scrap importer (-33.5% to 2.414 million tonnes). Declines were also reported by the USA (-12.7% to 1.982 million tonnes), the EU-28 (-9% to 1.367 million tonnes) and Russia (-59.7% to 0.211 million tonnes). Data for India, the second-largest steel scrap importer, Pakistan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico and Belarus are not available at the time of writing.

EU-28 remains leading steel scrap exporter

The first half of 2020 brought a 10.7% decline in the EU-28’s overseas shipments to 9.776 million tonnes but it nevertheless remained the world’s leading steel scrap exporter during the period under review. There were decreases in the EU-28’s outbound shipments to India (-50.5% to 0.563 million tonnes) and to Norway (-9.2% to 0.168 million tonnes). Conversely in the first six months of 2020, there were increases in EU-28 deliveries to Turkey (+2.6% to 6.137 million tonnes), Egypt (+14.1% to 0.969 million tonnes), Pakistan (+3.5% to 0.733 million tonnes) and Switzerland (+11.5% to 0.243 million tonnes). Shipments to the USA were unchanged on 0.311 million tonnes.

The largest EU-28 steel scrap exporter (according to EU-28 extra-trade figures) was the UK with a half-yearly shipment total of 2.501 million tonnes (-25.2% when compared to January-June 2019).

EU-28 internal exports (according to EU-28 intra-trade figures) totalled 12.986 million tonnes in the first half of 2020 (-14.4% when compared to January-June 2019).

The first six months of 2020 also brought a fall in US overseas steel scrap exports (-2.3% to 8.401 million tonnes), with reduced shipments to Taiwan (-2.6% to 0.850 million tonnes), Canada (-32.4% to 0.614 million tonnes) and the Republic of Korea (-46.1% to 0.390 million tonnes). Higher US steel scrap exports were recorded in the first half of 2020 to Turkey (+11.2% to 1.951 million tonnes), Mexico (+36.1% to 0.950 million tonnes), Malaysia (+104.3% to 0.901 million tonnes) and Bangladesh (+33.3% to 0.605 million tonnes).

Russia’s overseas steel scrap shipments were also lower during the same period (-7% to 2.172 million tonnes); its leading customer was Turkey (+6.4% to 1.161 million tonnes). In contrast, Japan’s overseas shipments of steel scrap soared 38.2% to 4.884 million tonnes in the first half of 2020: the main buyers were the Republic of Korea (-24% to 1.633 million tonnes), Vietnam (+83.6% to 1.566 million tonnes), Taiwan (+189.3% to 0.700 million tonnes) and Bangladesh (+315.8% to 0.395 million tonnes). Data for Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore are not available at the time of writing.

As a footnote, Mr Willeke offers his special thanks to Daniela Entzian, the BIR Ferrous Division’s Deputy Statistics Advisor, for her excellent co-operation in compiling these figures.

August 2020 crude steel production

Due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, many of this month’s figures are estimates that may be revised with next month’s production update.

China produced 94.8 Mt of crude steel in August 2020, an increase of 8.4% compared to August 2019. India produced 8.5 Mt of crude steel in August 2020, down 4.4% on August 2019. Japan produced 6.4 Mt of crude steel in August 2020, down 20.6% on August 2019. South Korea’s steel production for August 2020 was 5.8 Mt, down by 1.8% on August 2020.

Germany produced 2.8 Mt of crude steel in August 2020, down 13.4% on August 2019. Italy produced 0.9 Mt of crude steel in August 2020, up 9.7% on August 2019. France produced 0.7 Mt of crude steel in August 2020, down 31.2% on August 2019. Spain’s steel production for August 2020 was 0.7 Mt, down by 32.5% on August 2020.

The United States produced 5.6 Mt of crude steel in August 2020, a decrease of 24.4% compared to August 2019.

Production in the C.I.S. is estimated to be 7.9 Mt in August 2020, down 6.2% on August 2019. Ukraine produced 1.8 Mt of crude steel in August 2020, down 5.7% on August 2019.

Brazil produced 2.7 Mt of crude steel in August 2020, up by 6.5% on August 2019.

Turkey’s crude steel production for August 2020 was 3.2 Mt, up by 22.9% on August 2019.

Europe’s strategy for critical raw materials “a double-edged sword”

But if left unchecked, mining for the materials needed to produce them could cause major environmental and social damage, the EEB warned.

The European Commission has unveiled today its strategy to boost the domestic supply of raw materials needed to manufacture vital goods such as batteries and renewable energy technologies.
 
The roadmap includes an updated list of materials identified as critical and the development of an alliance which promises major investments in the exploration, extraction, and recycling of materials on European soil.
 
The announcement comes as EU leaders seek to reduce their dependence on third countries and strengthen their supply of raw materials amid recent trade disruptions and growing geopolitical instability.
 
Critical materials such as lithium, which is used to produce batteries, are set to gain a central spot in the strategy due to increasing demand for electric vehicles and energy storage technologies. Such products are necessary to help Europe ditch fossil fuels and transition to clean energy.
 
However, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) warned of a ‘double-edged sword’, arguing that the environmental and societal costs of mining must be properly assessed. The focus must be on reducing the use of limited resources and avoiding environmental disasters often linked to mining such as deadly pollution, water shortages and the displacement of people.  

Jean-Pierre Schweitzer, policy officer on resource efficiency at the EEB, said: “Simply opening the flood gates to new mining projects in Europe would contradict the European Commission’s ambition to keep resource consumption within planetary boundaries, as set out in the circular economy action plan in March. What we need is more efficient, recyclable and durable batteries produced from responsibly sourced materials to alleviate the burden on the planet.”

The EEB also called for the adoption of a headline target to halve material footprint in the EU by 2030, and on the development and monitoring of complementary indicators on land, water and carbon footprints.

Similarly, Diego Francesco Marin, a project officer for environmental justice at the EEB, said: “By relocating mining to Europe, we are likely to also import the environmental damage that has been inflicted on communities in South America, Asia and Africa for decades. The European Commission must ensure that local communities and civil society groups become part of a comprehensive consultation process so that they can raise concerns about new mining projects near their homes before it’s too late.“

Scrap metal shredder market expected to grow sustainably  

The commodities market is also experiencing huge momentum. The recycling market is one of the primary sectors which is expected to get affected by the changing trade scenarios in different countries. Scrap market is highly dependent on the metal prices, making economic stability a key market growth determinant. Changes in domestic and global commodities markets are anticipated to have a major influence on the scrap shredder market.

Currency value determines price of metal scrap

The fate of industries of different metals is in pandemonium and a strict projection can only be made after a certain period. PMR highlights the economic value of the currency of any country to have a major impact on the metal industry. With a disrupted global economy, the economic value of currencies will require time for correct evaluation. The above mentioned factors will cumulatively decide the future of the scrap industry, which is expected to have a direct influence in the market for scrap metal shredder.

Restricted movement impacts market growth

COVID-19 crisis is taking a toll on the businesses in the scrap sector. The ongoing shortage of workforce is resulting in the shutdown of many scrap yards inversely affecting the market growth. Governments are also taking lenient approaches in this segment as they are focused on the safety of the citizens and operations of essential services.

With the growing stagnancy in the economy, further rise in demand is not anticipated. Overall, the impact can be assessed to be stable with low production and low demand in the scrap market. The scrap metal shredder market will witness a proportional influence of all the mentioned factors. Less operation of the scrap metal industry is expected to halt the manufacturing of these shredders. Moreover, the lack of manpower is also estimated to inversely influence the manufacturing capacity of the scrap metal shredder’s market players.

Government directives for restrained movement are emerging as hindrances in the meager development in the scrap sector. Restricted movement across cities is restraining the movement of metal scrap, further discouraging the scrap dealers to shut down their businesses amid COVID-19 pandemic. Such moves are anticipated to bring down the activities in the scrap metal shredder market, dampening its revenue growth. However, the recently uplifted lockdown in China is projected to accentuate the metal scrap market, thereby providing an impetus for growth in the scrap metal shredder market. The uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 crisis push the market projections for the future towards an indefinite period.

More information

 

July 2020 crude steel production

Due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of this month’s figures are estimates that may be revised with next month’s production update.

China produced 93.4 Mt of crude steel in July 2020, an increase of 9.1% compared to July 2019. Japan produced 6.0 Mt of crude steel in July 2020, down 27.9% on July 2019. South Korea’s steel production for July 2020 was 5.5 Mt, down by 8.3% on July 2019.

Germany produced 2.4 Mt of crude steel in July 2020, down 24.7% on July 2019. Production in the EU overall is estimated to be 9.8 Mt of crude steel in July 2020, down by 24.4% on July 2019.

The United States produced 5.2 Mt of crude steel in July 2020, a decrease of 29.4% compared to July 2019.

Production in the C.I.S. is estimated to be 8.1 Mt in July 2020, down 5.8% on July 2019. Ukraine produced 1.8 Mt of crude steel in July 2020, down 1.9% on July 2019.

Turkey’s crude steel production for July 2020 was 3.1 Mt, up by 7.4% on July 2019.