For dealers, an endless pursuit of squeaky-clean scrap

Apr 20, 2009 | 09:27 AM |

The combination of bigger, more powerful shredders and tougher specifications from steel mills has put new pressure on scrap processors to produce a cleaner, lower-residual shredded scrap.

Specifications from some flat-rolled mini-mills have become even more demanding, several shredder operators said. Melters are looking for shredded with lower residual elements overall, but are demanding a copper content of less than 0.18 percent, down from the 0.25-percent level once considered acceptable.

"They are looking for less tramp elements in any scrap today, and certainly shredded," said Rob Bakotich, vice president of sales and marketing at Detroit-based Ferrous Processing & Trading Co. (FPT), which operates several shredders in that region.

Also, more mills are using shredded these days, he said. That might not be the case in the current ferrous market, where the price of shredded is in parity with top prime steel scrap like No. 1 busheling. But a year ago, when prime industrial scrap prices skyrocketed, many mills substituted lower-cost shredded for No. 1 busheling and No. 1 bundles.....

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