Posted on 30/01/2014 in category Ferrous

BIR World Mirror on Ferrous Metals / Quarterly report - January 2014

by Christian Rubach, TSR Recycling

Dear friends and colleagues,

Many of us in the international scrap industries will be happy that 2013 is now history. It proved to be a critical year for many recycling sectors and especially for the ferrous one.

In 2014, business sentiment is improving slightly in the “old economies” like Europe and the USA. And worldwide, crude steel production is still supposed to grow by 2-3%, which is good news too for our own industry. Nevertheless, I see no reason to expect miracles this year that would transport our industry back to the prosperous years of the mid-2000s. Overcapacity is still clearly evident in the steel and steel scrap industries; the average world capacity utilisation rate is still below 80% in the steel industry and, I fear, even lower in the steel scrap sector.

China, India and Turkey are not creating a demand momentum, as was the case in the boom years of the past. Therefore, my opinion is that, ignoring the remaining negative scenarios, we will see a slow, slow, slow recovery in our industry, as well as mergers and takeovers in both the steel and scrap industries - with “mergers” and “takeovers” being nicer words for overcapacity reductions through closures.

2014 is still young, and when our next BIR Convention takes place in Miami on June 2-4, we will have a clearer picture of whether this will be as “neutral” a year as I expect.

Read the full world market report in our members' area.