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World Steel Recycling in Figures: January-September 2022 update

Global crude steel production totalled 1.405 billion tonnes in January-September 2022 for a decline of 4.3% compared to the same period in 2021, according to worldsteel. Data in the table show a decrease in crude steel production in all regions of the world except for the Middle East. Despite a year-on-year drop of 2.9% to 1.033 billion tonnes, Asia remained the world’s largest crude steel producer.

Regionally speaking, the lowest crude steel production was recorded by Oceania with a year-on-year dip of 1.8% to 4.707 million tonnes. Elsewhere, the totals were as follows: EU-27 (-8.2% to 105.776 million tonnes), other Europe (-9.2% to 34.582 million tonnes), CIS (-18.5% to 65.837 million tonnes), North America (-4.2% to 84.862 million tonnes), South America (-4.6% to 32.737 million tonnes), Africa (-6.5% to 11.135 million tonnes) and the Middle East (+7.9% to 32.338 million tonnes).

China’s steel scrap usage down 6.7%

According to our statistics, China’s steel scrap consumption was 6.7% lower year on year at 170.83 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2022. This decline in steel scrap usage was steeper than the drop in the country’s crude steel production (-3.4% to 780.830 million tonnes). With its share of global crude steel production running at 55.6%, China remained the world’s largest steel scrap user.

A steeper percentage decrease in scrap usage was also recorded by Russia (-10.9% to 22.158 million tonnes) when compared to its crude steel production fall of 6.2% to 53.915 million tonnes. Conversely, lower percentage declines in scrap usage were registered by the EU-27 (--8% to 61.085 million tonnes versus a crude steel production decrease of 8.2% to 105.776 million tonnes), Japan (-3.6% to 24.853 million tonnes versus -6% to 67.817 million tonnes), Turkey (-8.4% to 23.664 million tonnes versus -9.3% to 27.298 million tonnes) and the Republic of Korea (-4.3% to 20.340 million tonnes versus -4.4% to 50.543 million tonnes).

Turkey’s overseas steel scrap purchases fall 10.5%

The first nine months of 2022 brought a 10.5% decrease in Turkey’s overseas steel scrap purchases to 16.847 million tonnes, although the country remained the world’s foremost steel scrap importer. Its main suppliers were the USA (+18.2% to 3.248 million tonnes), the Netherlands (-32% to 1.596 million tonnes) and the UK (-14.4% to 1.581million tonnes).

India was the world’s second-largest steel scrap importer in the first nine months of 2022 (+17.7% to 4.515 million tonnes), with its main suppliers being the USA (+14.3% to 0.423 million tonnes), the UK (22.5% to 0.310 million tonnes) and Singapore (-2.2% to 0.271 million tonnes).

In third place on the list of the world’s largest steel scrap importers was the Republic of Korea (+5.3% to 3.722 million tonnes). Its main suppliers were Japan (+1.4% to 2.381 million tonnes), the USA (+3.2% to 0.542 million tonnes) and Russia (-23% to 0.291 million tonnes).

Comparing January-September 2022 with the first three quarters of 2021, steel scrap imports increased into Thailand (+11.4% to 1.373 million tonnes), Canada (+28.3% to 0.834 million tonnes) and Norway (+16.3% to 0.271 million tonnes). By contrast, year-on-year import declines were posted for the first nine months of 2022 by the USA (-8.1% to 3.713 million tonnes), the EU-27 (-27.1% to 3.051 million tonnes), Taiwan (-8% to 2.150 million tonnes), Indonesia (-3.7% to 0.953 million tonnes), Malaysia (-66.5% to 0.252 million tonnes) and China (-36.7% to 0.310 million tonnes).

Figures for Pakistan, Bangladesh and Vietnam were not available ahead of our editorial deadline.

EU-27 regains leading position among steel scrap exporters

Having lost top spot in the first half of 2022, the EU-27 regained its position as the world’s leading steel scrap exporter in the first nine months of 2022 despite a 9.1% year-on-year decline in shipped volumes to 13.268 million tonnes.

The main buyer was Turkey (-14.5% to 8.331 million tonnes) while a drop was also registered in EU-27 shipments to Switzerland (-14.4% to 0.403 million tonnes). In contrast, the EU-27 increased its deliveries to India (+97.4% to 0.689 million tonnes), Pakistan (+27.3% to 0.603 million tonnes) and Bangladesh (+660.6% to 0.540 million tonnes). The largest EU-27 steel scrap exporter in the first nine months of 2022 was the Netherlands (-18.3% to 2.938 million tonnes).

Over the same nine-month period, EU-27 internal steel scrap exports totalled 20.074 million tonnes for a year-on-year drop of 11.7%.

In January-September 2022, there was also a decline in steel scrap exports from the USA - now the world’s second-largest steel scrap exporter (-6.5% to 13.045 million tonnes). The main buyers were Mexico (+5.7% to 2.756 million tonnes), Turkey (+3.2% to 2.670 million tonnes) and Bangladesh (+27% to 1.425 million tonnes).

Export declines were also recorded in the first nine months of 2022 by Japan (-19.1% to 4.700 million tonnes), Canada (-4.7% to 3.475 million tonnes), Australia (-12.6% to 1.396 million tonnes) and Norway (-1.9% to 0.414 million tonnes). However, higher export volumes were posted in January-September 2022 by the UK (+0.3% to 6.192 million tonnes), Singapore (+5.3% to 0.534 million tonnes), South Africa (+257.7% to 0.372 million tonnes) and Malaysia (+48.6% to 0.260 million tonnes).

In closing, I would like to extend my special thanks to Daniela Entzian, the BIR Ferrous Division’s Deputy Statistics Advisor, for her excellent co-operation.