Tightening of EU ferrous scrap export ban in planning?
Tightening of EU ferrous scrap export ban in planning?

4 October 2023 – Are European steelmakers working on tightening the EU ferrous scrap export ban? Large-scale green DRI production already off the table? And UK consumer stocks have been strong so far in 2023.

Tightening of EU scrap export ban in the pipeline?

EUROFER, the association of European steel producers, has once again expressed concern about the future supply of ferrous scrap to European steelmakers. 

Are EU steel mills falling short of expectations?

According to EUROFER, by 2030 about 1/3 of the steel currently produced via the blast furnace route will be produced from greener processes and using Direct Reduced Iron (DRI). This means perhaps 20 to 23 million tonnes of crude steel per year. By 2050, 90% of steel production in the EU should be made with ferrous scrap and DRI.

165 million tonnes of ferrous scrap needed by 2050?

But it is interesting to see why at least 165 million tonnes of steel scrap per year are needed by 2050, assuming just 5% total losses. It would mean that the already announced Direct Reduction plants with a capacity of about 42 million tonnes per year would not be needed at all. 

Lobbying for a stricter ban on scrap exports?

But, as we have heard from well-informed circles, EUROFER is currently in the process of collecting extensive information on scrap and the details in recent publications also indicate that the steel producers are working towards a tightening of the export ban on scrap from the EU.

Adopt measures and incentives to keep ferrous scrap in the EU for its subsequent treatment and quality improvement, helping to deliver on the EU’s circular economy and CO2 reduction objectives. No scrap should be exported to third countries that are not compliant with EU environmental standards.

EUROFER, A green deal on steel, 2020

Circular Economy: Keep ferrous scrap in the EU for proper treatment and quality improvement. No scrap should be exported to facilities which are less sustainable than those in the EU. Give preference to permanent and circular materials so as to achieve EU circular economy objectives.

EUROFER, Making a Success of the EU Green Deal, 2021

Scrap should become a critical raw material?

After EUROFER lobbyists had previously tried to point out the sustainable and responsible use of scrap metal in the EU, this approach has now been replaced. Now scrap is in critically short supply and threatens to run out for manufacturers. After all, it is important to reach the 90% scrap share in the EAF in order to receive subsidies from the EU. 

Large-scale DRI production already failed?

If the EU steel producers would focus on sustainable production of green DRI and also implement it, they would not have to use so much scrap. After all, according to the market leader for DR plants, steel production in the EAF can be done with up to 90% DRI. 

The German Minister of Economics, Robert Habeck, can only hope that the 2 billion euros in subsidies for a supposedly clean DR plant at thyssenkrupp will not end up as just another industrial ruin in the German Ruhr region.

British consumer stocks take top spots

Even though the rally had slowed down a little recently, shares in UK companies whose business models are consumer-related have performed strongly this year. Retailers, construction firms and travel and leisure companies are among the top performers in the FTSE 350. The benchmark FTSE 100 index could also see further support and rise in the current environment of higher oil prices and a weaker pound sterling, according to analysts.

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