EU raw materials act hits scrap business: Stahltag

Amendments to the EU’s Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) are concerning the bloc’s scrap merchants. The latest version of the CRMA report contains ferrous scrap, to the surprise and dismay of many in the sector.

This “is a blow for us,” Sebastian Will, head of ferrous scrap at German recycling federation BVSE, said at last week’s MBI Infosource Stahltag in Frankfurt. “We fear the consequences that list will bring for us.”

Earlier this month, the European Parliament adopted by 515 votes to 34, with 28 abstentions, amendments to the latest report version published in early September. The adopted text states: “By six months from the adoption of this Regulation, the Commission should submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a list of strategic secondary raw materials, including ferrous scrap.”

Will said political limitations on ferrous scrap exports would take away overseas markets for EU merchants. It would especially limit exports meant for Turkey, “where the scrap price is made”. He pondered: “Will the price double?” Will anticipates that EU mills would not be able to cover their demand, and might go for scrap from the USA. “And then the Turks will bid, too, and we will be in the four-digit figures,” he warned at the event attended by Kallanish.

Another topic he addressed in his presentation is the increasing role of analytical tools in scrap processing., especially as “there will be much consumer scrap accruing in the mid-term”. He referred to “Reders”, the joint project of thyssenkrupp and recycling group TSR, which created the “TSR40” scrap grade that is especially suited for feed in blast furnaces. He spoke of “designer scrap” that reduces risks in the steelmaking process. But he also noted that a facility, as set up at TSR last year, “is expensive, and not immune to errors”.

He presented three scenarios of scrap demand in Germany if oxygen-route mills increase their feed in the converter, or blast furnace as in the project above. With a scrap feed of 15%, oxygen-route mills would need 3.7 million tonnes; at 30%, it would be 7.5mt; and if 50% is technically feasible, demand would reach 12.4mt. In that case, it would surpass the demand of the country’s EAF mills, which currently stands at 10.1mt.

Christian Koehl Germany