Use of steel scrap fails to match increase in world steel output in 2012


The latest BIR World Mirror for Ferrous metals shows that use of ferrous scrap metal declined worldwide in 2012, despite an increase in the output of finished steel.

According to BIR Ferrous Division statistics advisor Rolf Willeke in collaboration with the German Steel Federation, usage of steel scrap in world steel production remained unchanged at around 570 million tonnes last year.


However, he showed that most regions around the world increased crude steel production in 2012.

China increased its production to 716.54 million tonnes, which was a 3.1 per cent increase on 2011. US steel production was up 2.7 per cent to 88.7 million tonnes, while Russian production rose by 2.3 per cent to 70.4 million tonnes. Turkey increased its production by 5.2 per cent to 35.9 million tonnes.

However, EU-27 production dropped 4.9 per cent to 168.9 million tonnes and Japanese manufacturing of steel fell 0.3 per cent to 107.2 million tonnes.

In the World Mirror, Rolf Willeke wrote: “One of the main reasons why global steel scrap use failed to follow the increase in world steel output was the situation in China.

“As the world’s biggest steel producer, China is attracting particular attention regarding its scrap usage. Its steel industry sharply reduced its consumption of scrap last year, by 12.3 per cent to 79.8 million tonnes despite the fact the country’s crude steel production was in positive territory.

“For a number of months last year, iron ore was cheaper and so the cost of blast furnace iron was lower than that of steel scrap for many Chinese steelmakers. This analysis is supported by the fact that global pig iron production increased by 6.8 per cent to 1.105 billion tonnes last year.”