Skip to main content

Twin challenge to EU stainless steel


The European stainless steel industry may not fully recover from the full effects of Covid-19 until 2023, according to a leading expert on the sector.

Joost van Kleef, commercial director of Oryx Stainless, is also concerned at a growing penetration of finished products into the European market.

The businessman, who chairs the world recycling organisation’s stainless steel and special alloys committee, notes in the quarterly BIR Mirror that, although demand for stainless steel has recovered from its lowest levels in March and April, overall European demand was back to around 70% of pre-pandemic levels.

‘Any recovery will take significantly longer than many anticipate – with some leading market analysts forecasting this to be 2023,’ he warns. But even with a recovery, Van Kleef is concerned that an increasing volume of stainless is being produced outside the EU and imported.

‘The latest development within Taiwan should be seen as a warning sign whereby some market participants have just shut down their furnaces and are importing stainless slab instead from Indonesia; in other words, an environmentally-friendly product made from stainless scrap is replaced by one which entails a significantly higher volume – perhaps around five times higher – of carbon dioxide emissions.’

He argues the recycling industry must concentrate its efforts on keeping stainless scrap an attractive and competitive raw material.

Also writing in the mirror, Uwe Dierkes managing director, Siegfried Jacob Metallwerke, describes the critical aerospace market as being in ‘freefall’ because of the pandemic.

‘Superalloy mills are not producing, with any orders being on a just-in-time delivery basis. Scrap processors therefore need to be sitting with processed stock and able to deliver quickly. This will probably be the new norm until passenger jet numbers return to pre-Covid levels.’

Would you like to share any interesting developments or article ideas with us? Don't hesitate to contact us.

You might find this interesting too

EMR joins pledges to become eco champion
BMW goes circular over batteries

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe now and get a full year for just €136 (normal rate is €170) Subscribe
Share your shear stories and win a GoPro!

It’s safe to say that scrap shears are the pillars of the recycling industry. But which configurations are the future? Take part in our tech survey and get a shot at winning a cool GoPro camera!

Thousands of scrap shears are driving recycling businesses all over the world. When it comes to different types, an operator may opt for maximum tonnage or flexibility, such as a mobile set-up. An integrated baling system is also gaining popularity. Ultimately, there is no wrong or right shear; it comes down to how you’re going to use it.

Our survey is meant to map the wants and needs of today’s dynamic recycling industry. Voice your opinion here and, who knows, you may be able to capture your recycling facility in action in HD.