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Data showing surge in China’s use of steel scrap ‘erroneous’

The remarkable increase in steel scrap usage for crude steel production in China reported by the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) has been modified downwards because of a technical problem with the data.

The recent BIR convention in London was told that usage over the first six months of the year was a 105% surge on the same period in 2017. Now BIR says it was actually 41%.

Technical problem

‘Unfortunately, the figures on Chinese steel scrap consumption we received for our half-yearly update were erroneous due to a technical problem,’ says BIR’s statistics advisor Rolf Willeke.

‘China’s Association of Metalscrap Utilisation has now provided us with final calculations for the use of steel scrap for steelmaking in China in the first half of 2018.

‘According to the new information, steel scrap usage for crude steel production in China increased to 87.7 million tonnes. This constitutes growth of 41% when compared to the 62.2 million tonnes for the same period of 2017.’

Shift driven by emission standards

Even this figure is remarkable compared to other countries. The second biggest jump, of 11%, is reported by Russia.

For the year as a whole, CAMU is now projecting steel scrap input of more than 180 million tonnes. Willeke told BIR delegates that the sharp increase follows higher pollutant emission standards for the Chinese steel industry.

To comply, he said, most BOF mills have increased their scrap input with their steel scrap/crude ration said to be 20-25%

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