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Our industry must prepare for radical and fundamental changes

It is both an honour and privilege for me to address you as President of the BIR Ferrous Division in this my first Mirror introduction in that capacity. I would like to take this initial opportunity to express my thanks and recognition to Denis Reuter for his leadership as my predecessor as President. I am thrilled to learn that he will continue to sit on the Ferrous Division board as an active member and it will be my intention to build on the vision and foundations that Denis set out during his presidency. My aim, with the Ferrous board’s support, will be to deliver real value and benefit to BIR and its members.

With that vision in mind, my first action as President has been the geographical expansion of Ferrous board representation. We currently have some very exciting candidates who I hope we can appoint in the coming weeks. At our first online meeting of 2024, we appointed the first of these new candidates and it gives me great pleasure to welcome Harry Seale from Atlas Commodities - a very experienced trader/metal recycler whose company supplies its home UK market as well as deep-sea bulk and containerized markets throughout the world. Moving forward, Harry will provide the UK Mirror report and we warmly welcome him to the BIR Ferrous board.

If you are a member of BIR and think you could contribute your skills in expanding our geographical representation, the Ferrous board would welcome your interest. Regions/countries of particular interest include Asia, Europe, Turkey and South America.

It is my belief that, during the next few years, our industry will be subjected to some radical and fundamental changes, with high-quality recycled metal products being increasingly in demand. I also believe that it has never been more important to understand how global trade flows are changing, in particular the industry challenges surrounding current trade barriers and disrupted traditional shipping routes, as well as the longer-term industry desire for a “green steel” evolution. To assist with our understanding of this, members are fortunate to have access to the latest data through the invaluable World Steel Recycling in Figures publication and updates collated regularly for us by Rolf Willeke.

I am pleased to report that work has already commenced on our plenary sessions for the 2024 BIR Conventions in both Copenhagen and Singapore. In Copenhagen, we hope to explore, with expert analysis, the supply and demand trends of the last six months, the disruption in the Red Sea/Suez Canal and the effects of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and other trade barriers, along with an analysis of future factors that will influence market direction and momentum of recycled ferrous prices in 2024. Following this, there will be a panel discussion before the debate is opened out into a Q&A session for member participation. I look forward to welcoming you all there.

This will be followed by an announcement about plans for our plenary session in Singapore.

I would like to thank my board colleagues for their individual and informative Mirror reports, which I hope you will appreciate reading.