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EU steel plan threat to scrap industry

Europe – European Commission plans to ‘revive’ the European steel industry while ignoring current conflicting policies poses a threat to the scrap collection, sorting and processing industry, according to the European Ferrous Recovery & Recycling Association (EFR).

Though the Commission’s objective to foster a sustainable EU steel industry is to be applauded, EFR president Tom Bird fears that measures such as scrap export restrictions and high costs of regulation will have a ‘detrimental impact’ on EU employment levels as well as on trade relations and the environment.

‘Scrap collectors and processors, along with the EAF (electric arc furnace) steel industry, enjoy a symbiotic relationship that needs to be nurtured, not put at risk by unintended consequences of new regulation,’ Bird argues. ‘EFR fully supports the Commission’s intention to foster a sustainable EU steel industry, but must oppose measures that jeopardise our healthy scrap industry. Instead, we would like to see more measures to increase the recycling of steel.’

‘Particularly worrisome’

Proposals to restrict exports or impose additional monitoring burdens on the scrap metal trade are ‘particularly worrisome’, observes Marcel Genet, Manager of Laplace Conseil. The author of a report on the plans so far, he concludes: ‘The EU has a huge and growing scrap reservoir. There is no risk of a scrap shortage that would justify export restrictions. Moreover, export restrictions will not increase domestic EAF steel industry output, since that is driven by domestic demand.’

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