The Ferrous Division of the Bureau of International Recycling (Brussels) has updated its 11th edition of World Steel Recycling in Figures, which covers the period from 2016 to 2019, with data reflecting the first six months of 2020.
The update finds that global crude steel production decreased 6% year on year during the first six months of 2020, from 928 million mt to 873 million mt. Steel scrap use declined 10.5%, BIR says, with key regions using approximately 210 million mt compared with about 244 million mt during the same period in 2019. All countries and regions used less steel scrap, BIR says.
China was still the largest consumer of steel scrap during the evaluated period, despite a 7.3% drop in its steel scrap use, to about 94 million mt compared with 101 million mt during the same period in 2019. Chinese steel scrap consumption was up 26% during the second quarter compared to the first, helping maintain its position, BIR notes. Steel scrap use for crude steel production also dropped in the European Union, the United States, Russia, Japan, and South Korea, BIR reports.
Turkey decreased its steel scrap use 4.3% (to 13.6 million mt) and reduced its electric-furnace production slightly more than its crude steel production, but it still increased its overseas scrap steel purchases 7.8%, to 9 million mt, BIR says, making it the world’s foremost scrap steel importer. Turkey is the largest buyer of U.S. ferrous scrap. South Korea, the United States, the European Union, and Russia all reduced their imports of steel scrap. BIR notes that data for India, the world’s second-largest importer of steel scrap—along with data for Pakistan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico and Belarus—was not available at the time of its evaluation.
The European Union remained the world’s largest exporter of steel scrap, despite experiencing a 10.7% decline in exports in this period. U.S. ferrous scrap exports fell 2.3% (or 8.4 million mt), with smaller shipments to Taiwan, Canada, and South Korea. However, it exported more ferrous scrap to Turkey, Mexico, Malaysia, and Bangladesh.