The World Steel Recycling in Figures reveals that the seven great powers get almost one third of their iron and steel from scrap metal. The report presented by the Ferrous Materials Division of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) was made public at the World Recycling Summit in Barcelona.
The global production of iron and steel grows as much as the world economy (3.7% during 2017), although China is increasing it and Europe reducing it, with Spain as the third largest European importer.
Figures for 2017 show an increase in global crude steel production and the use of steel scrap for steelmaking in key countries and regions. But it is worth noting an unexpected growth of use in China, closely linked to the closure of most of its induction furnaces and the resulting statistical effects. And above all, the global use of steel scrap as a raw material for the manufacture of steel has been on the rise.
During 2017, the total use of scrap steel in the seven powers accounted for 425 million tons
In fact, during 2017, the total use of scrap steel in the seven countries and their regions of influence accounted for 425 million tons, equivalent to one third of the crude steel production, which was 1,370 million tons. At a general level, it is estimated that the use of scrap steel during 2017 revolves around 600 million tons of the total world production of crude steel, which amounts to 1,690 million tons. The proportion of scrap steel used in crude steel production was 35.5% worldwide last year, while our statistics reveal that this proportion is 17.8% in China, 55.5% in the EU-28, 72.1% in the USA, 34.2% in Japan, 43% in the Republic of Korea, 80.8% in Turkey and 39.9% in Russia.
They also noted that the 2017 figures show positive signs in the foreign trade of steel scrap. In this regard, the report includes an analysis of Turkey as the main world importer of steel scrap, as well as of the main suppliers, specifically the Republic of Korea is the second largest importer of steel scrap.
The latest final annual data of the EU-28 recorded a decrease of 2.6% in steel scrap consumption in 2016, similar to that of its production (-2.3%). The largest users were Italy (+ 2.1%), Germany (-0.7%), Spain (-11%) and France (-4.7%). However, Spain also stands out as the first buyer in France and the United Kingdom.
The world trade of scrap steel amounted to 99 million tons last year
According to Official Trade Statistics / WV Stahl, world trade of steel scrap, including domestic trade of the EU-28, amounted to 99 million tons last year (+ 9.9% compared to 2016).
The data illustrate that ferrous scrap is one of the most used raw materials worldwide in iron and steel mills and foundries. It is an ecological and beneficial raw material and an international commodity subject to world market prices, which reveals the need for a free world market of raw materials.
The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR)
Founded in 1948, the BIR was the first association to support the recycling industry´s interests on an international scale. Today, the BIR represents more than 760 associated private sector companies and 36 national associations from more than 70 countries. Together, its members constitute the largest recycling industry association in the international arena.
The Bureau of International Recycling promotes the recycling of materials and facilitates the free and fair trade of recyclable materials in a sustainable and competitive global economy.