W.Schmiedel / BIR: Spike in coking coal prices to increase scrap usage

Speaking at the BIR World Mirror on Ferrous Metals event organized by the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), BIR president William Schmiedel, also president of US-based scrap recycling company Sims Group Global Trade Corporation, has stated that in August this year Chinese exports of finished and semi-finished steel decreased from June’s level of 10.9 million mt to 9.1 million mt. While this is a good sign, the latter total of 9.1 million mt still shows that China is more than willing to continue to export its excess production at levels that exceed sound business practices. However, in addition to the decrease in Chinese exports, there are some signals of better times ahead in the industry, the most significant of which are iron ore pricing, coking coal pricing and mergers between Chinese mills, the BIR president stated.

According to Mr. Schmiedel, the spike in coking coal prices should eventually increase the percentage of scrap used within the integrated sector of the steel industry. An integrated mill in Turkey has indicated that it will increase its scrap usage to 20 percent from under 10 percent, and, if followed by other integrated mills internationally, this should change the dynamics of the supply-demand continuum for steel scrap worldwide, stated Mr. Schmiedel.

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