The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) report higher steel scrap consumption in China (+5.1%) and the Republic of Korea (+1.5%) in the first half of 2013.

China recorded an increase in steel scrap use for crude steel production to 43.4Mt (+5.1%) although the gain was smaller than the 7.4% upturn in steel output in that period.

The increase in the Republic of Korea’s steel scrap consumption to 16.6Mt (+1.5% ) was achieved despite a fall in crude steel production of 5.3% over the same period.

In Europe, the January-June figures show a decline in steel scrap use in the EU-27 of -7.8% to 46.1Mt. A fall was also experienced in the USA (-8.7% to 26.1Mt), Turkey (-7.9% to 15.1Mt) and Russia (-12.9% to 8.3Mt). For these countries, the reductions in steel scrap use were greater than the respective declines in crude steel production.

Steel scrap use also fell in Japan (-2% to 18.6Mt) despite the country’s crude steel production increasing slightly by+1.2% in the first six months of 2013.

The world’s three main steel scrap importers, Turkey, S Korea and India, reduced their overseas purchases in the first six months of the year. Turkish imports fell -18.2% to 9.273Mt; the Republic of Korea by -7% to 4.805Mt; and India by -19.4% to 3.457Mt. Despite the decline, Turkey remained the world’s foremost importer of steel scrap.

Data obtained from China reveal that the country’s scrap imports fell 8.5% to 2.56Mt in January-June this year.

The first six months of 2013 brought a drop in overseas purchases by Taiwan (-16.1% to 2.174Mt), the USA (-20.1% to 1.677Mt), the EU-27 (-8% to 1.672Mt ), Canada (-19.6% to 0.957Mt) and Thailand (-56.9% to 0.447Mt. Conversely, there were import increases for Indonesia (+60.1% to 1.345Mt), Malaysia (+2.6% to a provisional 0.977Mt) and Belarus (+24.5% to 0.707Mt).