The Federal Association of German Steel Recycling and Waste Management Companies (BDSV), Germany’s ferrous scrap association, has suspended its forecast for the remainder of the year, citing the COVID-19 crisis that has depleted scrap volumes after steel mills and foundries were either shut or forced to cleave their capacities.
However, in addition to implementing a circular economy action plan, the association noted that stimulating demand for recycling products is imperative, given the slight increase in the share of ferrous scrap that was used in crude steel production in Europe last year.
According to BDSV statistics, crude steel output in the EU-28 decreased by 4.9pc to 159.4mn mt in 2019 from a year earlier, with Germany’s production declining by 6.5pc to 39.7mn mt—a 10-year low. Steel mills’ scrap purchases fell by 6.2pc in 2019 from a year earlier to about 13.7mn mt, and foundries’ scrap purchases decreased by 9.2pc to 3.2mn mt in 2019 from a year earlier. Although crude steel output fell by 2.9mn mt, or 6.5pc, in 2019, scrap usage only decreased by 900,000mt, or 4.8pc.
On a positive note, scrap comprising crude steel production reached 44.6pc in 2019, rising from 43.8pc a year earlier in spite of production falling. Steel recycling companies provided 25.4mn mt last year, however, it is down 5.6pc from 2018. Domestic shipments also declined by 5.8pc to 21.3mn mt.
One-third, or 8.5mn mt, of steel scrap was exported in 2019, however, that is 3.2pc below 2018 export levels. Steel scrap imports decreased by 4.6pc to 4.1mn mt in 2019 from the year prior.