The reason for this sharp increase is that the Chinese government instructed BOF mills to increase their scrap consumption from 11% to 20%. In addition, many new EAFs are being installed or are in the pipeline for the near future. It has been heard that China’s annual EAF capacity could reach 120 million tonnes within two or three years.
Also in 2017, there was a major increase in China’s steel scrap exports, caused by its elimination of induction furnaces. New customs figures indicate that China shipped out 2.23 million tonnes of steel scrap in 2017, all of it in the final 10 months of the year. The biggest buyers are listed in the table below.
Total Chinese Exports 2017