Steep increase in China’s steel scrap usage and exports in 2017

According to figures from China's Association of Metalscrap Utilization (CAMU), China was the world’s biggest steel scrap user in 2017 after recording a steep 64.2% increase in its consumption to 147.9 million tonnes from 90.1 million tonnes in the previous year.
Jürgen Nießen,
Jürgen Nießen,

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.

Biggest buyers


690,403 tonnes


318,105 tonnes


317,839 tonnes


272,818 tonnes


175,714 tonnes


145,905 tonnes

Hong Kong

117,786 tonnes

Korean Rep.

97,395 tonnes


31,611 tonnes


15,305 tonnes

Total Chinese Exports 2017

2,229,990 tonnes


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