What makes the southern region of the U.S. such a hot spot for the ferrous and nonferrous metals industries? Radhika Ojha, Senior Editor at Davis Index seeks an answer in this cover story that first appeared in the Recycling Today magazine.
Southern USA already has many ferrous scrap processing facilities given the presence of big electric arc furnace- (EAF-) based steelmakers in the southern U.S., the commissioning of Wieland’s and Aurubis’ copper plants, Federal Metal’s ACR facility and SDI’s aluminum plant are expected to boost the consumption and processing of nonferrous scrap in the region.
Wieland has used acquisitions to ensure a steady stream of scrap supply for its plant. The company began by purchasing Granite City, Illinois-based Totall Metal Recycling (TMR) in April 2022 and added around 100,000 metric tons of processing capacity to its North American portfolio. Since then, Wieland has completed two more acquisitions.
In January, Wieland bought Pennsylvania-based Hummock Industries and its subsidiaries, Heyco Metals and National Bronze Manufacturing, to expand its copper and bronze portfolio. In July, the company also acquired Farmers Copper, a Texas-based copper, bronze and brass supplier, to enhance its service center network.
Aurubis has not yet revealed acquisition plans for North America, but the company has said it is keen to expand its footprint in the region.
The two plants are expected to require a lot of copper scrap, especially No. 2 copper (birch/cliff) and No. 1 copper wire and tube (berry/candy). Given the export market for these grades, participants expect their spreads to narrow considerably once these plants are commissioned. Spreads for the grades have ranged slightly wider in the domestic markets, but participants say they expect these to either match export grades or tighten further.