Ferrous industry can count on unpredictability

The ferrous metal industry is looking back at a tough year with troubled times ahead.

Almost tradtionally, the opening remarks of William Schmiedel (Sims Metal Management), president of BIR’s ferrous division, during the ferrous committee’s meeting in Amsterdam were not very optimistic. The industry has become too familiar with uncertainty, he pointed out. In the spring, price decreases were caused by cheap semi-finished products from China. Other problems the slow growth, currency manipulations and political upheavals. Exports from China have slowed down, but that does not influence the Chinese’s production capacities.

Zain Nathani (Nathani Group) reported of a enlivement in the indian market in September. However, there are concerns that this enlivement is only short-lived. Nathani also reported of a strong growth in Bangladesh. There are plans to expand the available capacities of approximately 4 million tons. At the moment the demand is higher than the capacities, which is compensated by exports from China.

In his overview of the steel market, BIR Ferrous Division Statistics Advisor Rolf Willeke explained that the use of steel scrap decreased in the first half of this year in all regions with the exception of Turkey. Crude steel production also increased, but less than steel scrap. The only exceptions here were the USA and Turkey. Willeke also confirmed that India was now established as the second-largest importer of steel scrap.


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