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Recent BIR Dubai 2022: Ferrous Division - Statistics: “World Steel Recycling in Figures” - latest update of the 13th edition

  • 19 October 2022

During the recent meeting of the BIR Ferrous Division on 17 October in Dubai, Rolf Willeke, BIR Ferrous Statistics Advisor, outlined the key findings in the January-June 2022 update of the 13th edition of “World Steel Recycling in Figures”

Global crude steel production totalled 949.4 million tonnes in January-June 2022 for a decline of 5.5% compared to the same period in 2021, according to worldsteel. Data show a decrease in crude steel production in all regions of the world.

Despite a drop of 4.9% to 698.250 million 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 3.146 million tonnes.

China’s steel scrap usage down by 13.8%

In all key countries and regions, steel scrap usage and crude steel production were lower year on year in the first six months of 2022.

According to our statistics, China’s steel scrap consumption fell by 13.8% in the first half of this year to 119.55 million tonnes - in percentage terms, more than double the decline seen in the country’s crude steel production over the same period (-6.5% to 526.9 million tonnes). With its share of global crude steel production running at 55.5%, China remained the world’s largest steel scrap user.

The second-largest steel scrap user globally was the EU-27 (-3.2% to an estimated 43.856 million tonnes versus a 6.2% decline in its crude steel production to 73.758 million tonnes). The USA was the third-largest steel scrap user (-3% to 22.5 million tonnes versus a 2.2% drop in crude steel production to 41.147 million tonnes).

Steel scrap usage as a percentage of crude steel production was very high in Turkey (87.1%) and very low in China (22.7%), although the latter will increase its scrap usage.

Among key countries and regions, there was a decrease in steel scrap usage of 8.4% to 248.789 million tonnes in the first half of 2022, while related crude steel production was down 6.1% at 777.235 million tonnes. The steel scrap usage figure represents verified data for 81.9% of global crude steel production.

Turkey’s overseas steel scrap purchases fall 3%

The opening six months of 2022 brought a 3% decrease in Turkey’s overseas steel scrap purchases to 12.480 million tonnes, although the country remained the world’s foremost steel scrap importer. Its main suppliers were the USA (+25.7% to 2.232 million tonnes), the Netherlands (-33.3% to 1.163 million tonnes) and the UK (-17.6% to 1.135 million tonnes).

The Republic of Korea was the world’s second-largest steel scrap importer in the first half of 2022 (+29.1% to 2.722 million tonnes), with its main suppliers being Japan (+17.8% to 1.703 million tonnes), the USA (+48.3% to 0.399 million tonnes) and Russia (+5.6% to 0.226 million tonnes).

The third-largest steel scrap importer in the first six months of 2022 was India (+0.3% to 2.673 million tonnes). Its main suppliers were the United Arab Emirates (+3.5% to 0.711 million tonnes), the USA (-11.9% to 0.208 million tonnes) and Singapore (-11.9% to 0.170 million tonnes)

In January-June 2022, steel scrap imports increased into Thailand, Indonesia and Norway. By contrast, import declines were posted for the first half of 2022 by the USA, the EU-27 and Taiwan.

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

The USA regains position as world’s leading steel scrap exporter

Having lost top spot in 2014, the USA regained its position as the world’s leading steel scrap exporter in the first half of 2022 despite a 5.6% year-on-year decline in shipped volumes to 8.874 million tonnes. Leading buyers to increase their purchases from the USA were Mexico (+21.4% to 2.005 million tonnes), Turkey (+23.4% to 1.969 million tonnes), Bangladesh (+44.7% to 0.900 million tonnes) and the Republic of Korea (+34.7% to 0.357 million tonnes).

For the EU-27, the world’s second-largest steel scrap exporter, the opening half of this year brought a sharp decline (-23.9% to 8.515 million tonnes); its main buyers were Turkey (-23.8% to 5.805 million tonnes), Egypt (-39.8% to 0.625 million tonnes) and Switzerland (-9.4% to 0.318 million tonnes). The EU-27’s largest steel scrap exporter in the first half of 2022 was the Netherlands (-35.8% to 1.822 million tonnes). Over the same period, EU-27 internal steel scrap exports totalled 14.385 million tonnes for a year-on-year drop of 7.3%.

The world’s third-largest steel scrap exporter in the first half of 2022 was the UK (-0.8% to 4.104 million tonnes), with its main buyers being Turkey (-25.9% to 1.053 million tonnes), Egypt (+21.9% to 0.856 million tonnes) and Bangladesh (+87.6% to 0.529 million tonnes).

Increases in exports were recorded in the first six months of 2022 by Canada, Singapore, Norway, Malaysia and Brazil. Conversely, export declines were recorded by Japan and Australia.

US and EU-27 steel scrap prices on same course

Regarding global steel scrap markets, export prices to Turkey from the USA and the EU-27 followed the same course in the first half of 2022.

At the end of his presentation, Mr Willeke extended his special thanks to Daniela Entzian, the BIR Ferrous Division’s Deputy Statistics Advisor, for her excellent co-operation.

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