EU Parliament votes for scrap export ban
EU Parliament votes for scrap export ban

18 January 2023 – The EU Parliament yesterday voted in favour of the introduction of the revised EU Waste Shipment Regulation and thus for a ban on scrap exports to non-OECD countries. The steel lobby remains unhappy and wants OECD member states, such as Turkey, to be monitored and, if possible, banned as well. Nickel jumps up by more than 5%, molybdenum prices already yesterday by almost 4.8%.

Nickel and molybdenum rise significantly again

After a short breather, molybdenum prices rose again yesterday by about 4.8%. And after a small dip yesterday, nickel on the LME jumped by more than 5% shortly after the start of trading and was quoted at more than $ 28,000 per tonne. This shows once again where the EU stainless steel alloy surcharges for February 2023 are heading.

EU Parliament votes for scrap export ban

The EU Parliament yesterday approved the revised Waste Shipment Regulation, paving the way for negotiations with EU member states.

EU scrap export ban to come

It is particularly important to note that ferrous scrap will in future only be exported to OECD countries. The EU has thus envisaged a de facto scrap export ban to all non-OECD countries. According to Eurostat, 19.5 million tonnes of scrap were exported from the EU in 2021. About 25% of this went to non-OECD countries.

EUROFER still dissatisfied with results

Therefore, the European Steel Manufacturers Association Eurofer has also expressed its displeasure in this respect. Among other things, Eurofer had campaigned for a complete export ban on scrap, but was unable to get its way and is already lobbying hard for exports to OECD member states to be subject to strict monitoring and, if necessary, to be banned. The main target of Eurofer’s displeasure is Turkey, the main customer for EU scrap metal.

Scrap saves CO2?

“For every tonne of carbon steel scrap recycled, a saving of 1.5 tonnes of CO2 is achieved, and in case of stainless-steel scrap this saving is even higher, reaching roughly 5 tonnes of CO2.”

EUROFER, 17 January 2023

A few details about the use of scrap strategically ignored

The figures quoted by EUROFER on their website to justify why scrap is so important leave out an important detail. This saving only occurs if an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) uses at least 90% scrap or only emits a certain amount of emissions from the EAF.

The new EU benchmark emissions for EAFs cannot yet be technically achieved by European manufacturers and they therefore have to resort to the legal trick of the scrap quota of 90%, because then, according to the EU definition, no more emissions are emitted. Regardless of whether there are actually still emissions or not. Moreover, reaching the benchmark emission levels or a 90% scrap quota are basic prerequisites for the allocation of free EU ETS certificates.

Still 80% raw materials and 20% scrap?

The official reading of the steel producers, however, is still the classic 80% raw materials and 20% scrap share in the production of steel in the BOF route – which, however, is also readily accepted for the EAF route. The most recent example is the proposal for a label system for green steel by the German Steel Federation.

In the end, the EU steel lobby is again desperately trying to keep scarce raw materials, which are also needed for the allocation of free ETS certificates, in the European Union. In any case, this will not make European steel any greener.

This shows once again how important it is to pay close attention to what EU steel producers and EUROFER are doing and communicating.

Or to put it in the words of the CELSA Group, whose CEO and President Francesc Rubiralta is chairing EUROFER this year:

“The European steel sector is ruled by The European Steel Association (EUROFER)…”

Source: CELSA Group, LinkedIn

One is immediately reminded of a popular fantasy story and the well-known quote: “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them!”

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