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Global scrap use up 1.8%, US flat in '13: BIR

Keywords: Tags  scrap, ferrous scrap, crude steel, Bureau of International Recycling, BIR, scrap imports, scrap exports, EF electric-arc furnace

NEW YORK — Global steel scrap usage increased 1.8 percent in 2013, according to a report from the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR).

Global ferrous scrap usage rose to 580 million tonnes in 2013 from 570 million tonnes the prior year, although a 3-percent increase in world crude steel production meant the proportion of steel scrap used in crude steel production fell to 36.1 percent from 36.6 percent in the same comparison.

The increase in crude steel output last year was seen in regions and countries with a high percentage of electric-arc furnace production, such as the Middle East and Africa, as well as some Asian countries like India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, the BIR said.

U.S. ferrous scrap consumption was unchanged compared with 2012, while Chinese consumption increased 2 percent as Turkish usage dropped 6 percent.

China last year "used more domestically supplied steel scrap and reduced its imports," while the United States "used more direct-reduced iron as a substitute for steel scrap," the BIR said.

Ferrous scrap consumption in Japan and South Korea climbed 3.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, but dropped 4.6 percent in the European Union and 3.5 percent in Russia.

In terms of import and export figures, "most leading steel scrap importers cut their overseas purchases in 2013," with those by Turkey off 12 percent, South Korea down 8.6 percent, India off 31.1 percent, China down 10.2 percent and Taiwan off 10.1 percent.

Despite reduced buying levels, Turkey "remained the world’s foremost steel scrap importer," the Brussels-based group said.

Likewise, the United States was the world’s leading exporter of ferrous scrap despite a 13.6-percent drop in shipments abroad to nearly 18.5 million tonnes last year. E.U. exports fell 14.1 percent to 16.83 million tonnes, while Japanese export volumes declined 5.1 percent to 8.15 million tonnes.

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