There has been an increase in the use of scrap metal for crude steel production during H1 2014, according to a report by the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR).

Relying upon figures supplied by worldsteel and Eurofer and published in BIR World Mirror, a ferrous metals newsletter, the BIR claims that scrap usage for crude steel production was up by 9.4% to 47.5Mt in China and by 5% to 18.9Mt in Japan. For both countries, the gains in steel scrap usage were higher than the respective 3% and 0.9% rises in crude steel production.

Within the EU 28, steel scrap usage growth was up 3.4% to 47.7Mt. In the Republic of Korea the figure was up 2.1% to 16.9Mt, lower in both countries than their respective gains in crude steel production. In the USA, January to June 2014 figures for steel scrap usage were down 0.4% to 26Mt. In Turkey the figure was down 0.3% to 14.4Mt and in Russia it declined by 0.4% to 8.2Mt.

Overseas steel scrap purchases in China for H1 2014 were down 49% to 1.3Mt, as the country buys more steel scrap from domestic sources. The Republic of Korea reduced its scrap imports by 10.3% to 4.3Mt. India reduced imports by 29.5% to 2.4Mt, the EU by 0.6% to 1.6Mt, Indonesia by 16.3% to 1.1Mt, Canada by 29.6% to 0.6Mt and Malaysia by 55.7% to 0.487Mt.

Also cutting their steel scrap imports in the first half of 2014 were the Republic of Korea (-10.3% to 4.308m tonnes), India (-29.5% to 2.438m tonnes), the EU-28 (-0.6% to 1.605m tonnes), Indonesia (-16.3% to 1.126m tonnes), Canada (-29.6% to 0.674m tonnes) and Malaysia (-55.7% to 0.487m tonnes).

Turkey increased its overseas steel scrap purchases by 4.9% to 9.7Mt for H1 2014. Similarly Taiwan, which increased overseas purchases by 1% to 2.1Mt, and the USA, which increased foreign purchases by 25.8% to 2.1Mt. Thailand and Mexico both increased foreign scrap purchases by 23.3% and 13.9% respectively to 0.55Mt and 0.45Mt.

US scrap exports to Turkey were down 34.6% to just 1.7Mt although they were also down where other nations were concerned. US scrap exports to Taiwan were down 7.9% to 1.46Mt and declined by 22.5% to 0.8Mt to the Republic of Korea. US scrap exports to Canada were down 1.7 % to 0.46Mt and the figure for China fell by 59.6% to 0.39Mt. In Egypt it fell by 38.4% and US scrap to Malaysia fell 39.1% to 0.28Mt.

According to the BIR, a downtrend was also clearly visible in Japan’s overseas shipments of steel scrap from Japan were also down. During H1 2014 they fell by 21.4% to 3.7Mt. Likewise, there was a sharp decline in shipments from Japan to the Republic of Korea (down 27% to 2Mt) and to China (down 27.2% to 1Mt). Japanese deliveries to Vietnam increased by 44.1% to 0.3Mt and by 25.7% to 0.2Mt to Taiwan.

In South Africa H1 2014 steel scrap exports were down 22.2% to 0.7Mt and this was largely because of reduced shipments to India (down 32.8% to 0.3Mt). During the same period, Russia increased scrap exports by 56.4% to 2.4Mt and other countries followed suit: Canada (up 2.7% to 2.1Mt) and Australia (up14.5% to 1.2Mt).

There were also higher steel scrap shipments from Russia to Turkey (up 53.7% to 1.2Mt) and from Canada to the USA (up 19.3% to 1.6Mt) and from Australia to Vietnam (up 78.4% to 0.2Mt).