FOUNDRY SCRAP For iron foundries, finding feedstock is an endless battle

Jan 01, 2008 | 11:05 AM |

Iron foundries, although there are fewer and fewer these days, face a dual challenge enforcing their more-demanding scrap specifications and being dwarfed in the market by their big brothers—scrap-consuming steel mills—when they buy.

"Our specs have not changed in the past five years," a scrap buyer at one pipe mill said. "But we do keep trying harder and harder to enforce our scrap specs and make sure our suppliers meet them."

What makes that difficult for a widely available grade like shredded scrap is the small volume that foundries consume compared with the appetites of some steel mills. All of the foundries combined consume only 8 million to 9 million tons of shredded scrap annually, just a small portion of the 60 million tons of scrap purchased by integrated and mini-mills, according to the Steel Recycling Institute, Pittsburgh.

Since a steel mill typically buys more scrap in one month than a foundry consumes in a year, shredders don't give it that much attention. They spend more time, energy and effort trying to please their big steel mill customers rather than foundries, the scrap buyer said.....

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