South African scrap export ban to be extended?
South African scrap export ban to be extended?

22 November 2023 – The South African DTIC, which is responsible for the scrap export ban that currently runs until December 2023, appears to have been asked by several parties to extend it further. This has been strongly criticised by the umbrella organisation of the metal processing industry in South Africa. And the order books of Taiwanese steel manufacturers are said to be well filled by the end of January 2024.

Will the South African scrap export ban be extended?

According to South African media reports, the South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), which is responsible for the scrap export ban that currently runs until December 2023, has been asked by several parties to extend the export ban beyond December.

SEIFSA takes a critical view of the extension

This has been met with harsh criticism from the South African metal processing industry and its umbrella association, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA), among others. SEIFAS sees the political background behind the scrap export ban as a pretext and also criticises the latest attempts to reinterpret the original justification (prevention of infrastructure damage caused by metal theft).

Attempts to politically reinterpret the scrap export ban

SEIFSA is now seeing increased discussion that the export ban is being used as an industrial policy tool to support scrap-based steel mills and the country’s decarbonisation efforts, which according to the association was never the original motivation for the ban.

Export bans increasingly popular

However, after several scrap export bans have already been issued, expanded or extended worldwide this year, it is to be expected that the South African government will also continue to maintain its own export ban, for whatever reason.

Taiwan: Steel mills surprise with full order books

According to recent reports, Taiwanese steel manufacturers already have well-filled export order books for January 2024 and have already met their order targets. Some of the plants are also said to be so fully booked in the fourth quarter that only small spot quantities can be accepted. Some manufacturers have also announced price increases for hot-rolled coil for December. Full order books are also being reported from other parts of Asia, particularly for export to Europe.

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