Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) estimates its member countries utilised 491mn mt of steel scrap in 2019, up by 3.6pc from the year prior. Crude steel produced by its key member countries was 1.53bn mt. The usage of ferrous scrap as a greener raw material increased following a greener way of steel-making.
In 2019, global crude steel production totalled 1.87bn mt, up 3.4pc from the previous year. Production through oxygen furnace production increased by 6.5pc to 1.343bn mt while that through electric furnaces was unchanged at 523mn mt.
Ferrous scrap usage rises in China & USA in 2019
Chinese steel scrap consumption rose by 15pc 2019 to 215.93mn mt as compared to 187.77mn mt in 2018. The country continues to be the world’s largest steel scrap user. BIR reported that scrap usage ration in the country also increased in the year. The proportion of scrap used in steel production climbed to 21.7pc. Chinese crude steel production was 996.34mn mt, up 8.3pc from 2018. The country’s share of global production increased from 50.9pc in 2018 to 53.3pc in 2019.
The Chinese government has imposed restrictions on emissions and set standards for the steel industry to lower air pollution. Most of the country’s BOF mills have actively increased scrap input and their steel scrap/crude steel ratio is currently said to be 20.2pc. There was also a further increase in China’s scrap-intensive electric furnace production from 54mn mt in 2017 to 103.2mn mt in 2019, according to world steel association.
Ferrous scrap usage inched up in the USA by 1pc to 60.7mn mt in 2019. USA’s crude steel production grew by 1.5pc to 87.927mn mt in 2019. However, the proportion of steel scrap used in the country’s crude steel production declined to 69.1pc in 2019 from 69.4pc in 2018.
Ferrous scrap usage down in EU-28, Japan, Russia, the Republic of Korea, Turkey and Canada in 2019
The EU-28 recorded a 3.7pc drop in steel scrap consumption in 2019 to 87.545mn mt and crude steel production fell by 4.9pc. The proportion of steel scrap used in its crude steel production declined to 54.8pc in 2019 from 55.9pc in 2019. The EU-28 recorded 159.430mn mt crude steel production in 2019.
Japan’s ferrous scrap usage dropped by 7.7pc to 33.684mn mt and the country’s crude steel production dropped by 4.8pc to 99.284mn mt. The proportion of steel scrap used in Japan’s crude steel production decreased to 33.9pc in 2019 from 35pc in 2018.
Russia’s crude steel production in 2019 dropped by 0.8pc to 71.57mn mt while ferrous scrap consumption was recorded at 30.4mn mt, down 4.3pc. The proportion of steel scrap used in Russia’s crude steel production declined to 42.5pc in 2019. There was a 27.4pc decline in Russia’s ferrous scrap exports in 2019 to 4.058mn mt on the back of the government’s decision to restrict steel scrap exports through quotas from August end.
Republic of Korea’s steel scrap usage drooped by 4.7pc to 28.5mn mt while its steel production dropped by 1.4pc to 71.421mn mt. The proportion of steel scrap used in the Republic of Korea’s crude steel production decreased to 39.9pc in 2019 from 41.4pc in 2018.
There was a fall in Turkey’s steel scrap consumption by 10.9pc to 27.9mn mt while the country’s crude steel production dropped by 9.6pc to 33.743mn mt. The proportion of steel scrap used in Turkish crude steel production increased to 82.8pc in 2019 from 80.7pc in 2018. The main factor behind falling ferrous scrap imports and consumption was the US levying additional import tariff on Turkish steel. Sluggish long steel demand in the domestic and export markets also hit production.
Canada recorded a 5.8pc reduction in steel scrap usage in 2019 to 6.28mn mt whereas its crude steel production declined by 4.9pc to 12.79mn mt. The proportion of steel scrap used in Canada’s crude steel production decreased to 49.1pc in 2019.