Ferrous scrap could provide a more cost-effective alternative to produce steel with lower emissions or green steel.
At a Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) webinar—chaired by Greg Schnitzer, Schnitzer Steel’s vice-president of ferrous sales, and president of BIR’s ferrous division—Renate Featherstone, principal analyst of multi-commodity research at Wood Mackenzie UK, said that ferrous scrap would play an important role in helping steelmaker’s reduce their dependence on virgin iron to produce steel.
Featherstone said the share of scrap used in steelmaking could rise to as much as 47pc over the next two decades. Integrated steelmaking would still remain the main source for steel in countries like China, she said, but globally, the share of electric arc furnaces (EAFs) to make steel could grow to 30pc in the next six years and then rise further to 34-35pc by 2040.
Rolf Willeke, BIR’s divisional statistical advisor, also shared some data from the association’s latest edition of the “World Steel Recycling in Figures” report at the webinar, which was part of BIR’s global e-Forum on ferrous scrap markets. He said that around 630mn mt of steel scrap was recycled every year, preventing an estimated 950mn mt of annual CO2 emissions from virgin steel production.
However, Willeke observed that, despite being the world’s biggest importer of ferrous scrap in 2019, Turkey’s scrap imports fell by 8.7pc to 18.85mn mt last year, while India became the second-largest importer of steel scrap, with shipments to the country growing by 11.4pc to 7.05mn mt last year.