Global – With an increase to 22.4 million tonnes in 2012 (+4.5% compared to 2011), Turkey reinforced its position as the world’s leading importer of steel scrap. The imports of two other large steel-producing countries – India and the Republic of Korea – are also on the increase, according to latest figures from the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR).
The fourth edition of ‘World Steel Recycling in Figures’, released by the BIR Ferrous Division at the world recycling organisation’s Convention in Shanghai last week, shows that the external steel scrap trade totalled 106.6 million tonnes worldwide in 2012 (-1.9% compared to 2011), of which nearly 28% was attributable to inter-EU trade.
In 2012, global steel scrap use as a raw material for steelmaking was unchanged at around 570 million tonnes. The figures from BIR show lower scrap usage in, notably, China, the EU-27, Japan and Russia.
Last year, the USA remained the world’s leading exporter of steel scrap on 21.4 million tonnes – in spite of a drop of around 12.2% over 2011. Exports from the EU-27 increased around 2.1% to 19.2 million tonnes while Japan’s exports leapt a remarkable 57.9% to 8.5 million tonnes. Higher overseas shipments of steel scrap were also recorded by Russia (+7.6% to 4.3 million tonnes).
According to ‘World Steel Recycling in Figures’, market developments in 2012 highlighted ‘the global importance of scrap as an ecologically beneficial raw material for steelworks and foundries, and at the same time underlined the need for a free world raw material market’.