Global scrap consumption falls in H1: BIR

Global scrap consumption fell in the first half of 2022, following the same trend as crude steel production, the Bureau of International Recycling said Oct. 19.

H1 global crude steel production fell 5.5% on the year to 949.4 million mt, according to World Steel Association data previously reported.

Scrap consumption by key countries and regions decreased 8.4% year on year in H1 to 248.789 million, with related crude steel production also down 6.1% at 777.235 million mt, the BIR statistics showed, which represented verified data for 81.9% of global crude steel production, it said.

Largest steel scrap user China’s H1 steel scrap consumption dropped 13.8% to 119.55 million mt, with scrap usage as a percentage of crude steel production low at 22.7%, it said.

The second-largest user EU saw usage drop 3.2% to an estimated 43.856 million mt, while H1 scrap use in the US decreased 3% on the year to 22.5 million mt.

Turkey’s scrap consumption dropped 3% on the year in H1 to 12.480 million mt, although its steel scrap usage as a percentage of crude steel production was high at 87.1%.

The BIR noted that Turkey remained the world’s foremost steel scrap importer, with it importing 2.23 million mt from the US, 1.16 million mt from the Netherlands and 1.135 million mt from the UK.

Platts assessed Turkish imports of premium heavy melting scrap 1/2 (80:20) at $364/mt CFR Oct. 19, down 21.4% since the start of 2022, according to data from S&P Global Commodity Insights.

The second-largest importer South Korea imported 2.72 million mt scrap in H1, up 29.1% on the year, with supplies coming from Japan at 1.7 million mt, the US at 399,000 mt and Russia at 226,000 mt.

India imported 2.67 million mt of scrap in H1, up 0.3%, with 711,000 coming from the UAE, 208,000 mt coming from the US and 170,000 mt from Singapore.

H1 scrap imports also increased into Thailand, Indonesia and Norway, but fell to the US, the EU and Taiwan, BIR said.

US largest exporter in H1

The US was the largest steel scrap exporter in H1 for the first time since 2014, despite shipments dropping 5.6% on the year to 8.87 million mt, the BIR data showed.

Its main buyers were Mexico at 2.005 million mt, Turkey at2 million mt, Bangladesh at 900,000 mt and South Korea at 357,000 mt.

The EU’s scrap exports also fell 23.9% year on year in H1 to 8.5 million mt, with its main destination being Turkey at 5.8 million mt, Egypt at 625,000 mt and Switzerland at 318,000 mt.

The largest scrap exporter in the region was the Netherlands that shipped 1.82 million mt, down 35.8% on the year.

The UK exported 4.1 million mt in H1, down 0.8% year on year, mostly to Turkey at 1.05 million mt, Egypt at 856,000 mt and Bangladesh at 529,000 mt.

Canada, Singapore, Norway, Malaysia and Brazil all increased exports in H1, although Japan and Australia saw declines over the period, the BIR said.

— Jacqueline Holman