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Approximately 630 million tons of recycled steel is used in global steel production every year

BIR Abu Dhabi 2023 World Recycling Congress discussed the incorporation of around 630 million tons of recycled steel into steelmaking processes worldwide annually.

Approximately 630 million tons of recycled steel is used in global steel production every year

The importance of recyclable steel materials was the main topic of the Ferrous Division session at the BIR ABU Dhabi conference. The main objective of this session was to create a more effective resonance with the public and policy makers.

The session highlighted that recycled steel not only reduces around 950 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, but also contributes to energy savings and the conservation of our precious natural resources.

In the Ferrous Division session, Rolf Willeke, BIR Iron Statistics Consultant, presented the key findings for the period January-June 2023:

According to the 14th edition of World Steel Recycling in Figures, world crude steel production fell by 1.1% to 943.9 million tons in the first half of 2023. Most regions saw this decline, including the EU-27, Other Europe, North America, South America and Oceania. However, crude steel production increased y-o-y in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. China remains the world's leading steel producer, with production up 1.3% to 535.6 million tons in the first half of 2023, accounting for 56.7% of world output.

In the first half of 2023, recycled steel consumption fell in all major countries and regions. The EU-27 and Japan witnessed smaller declines in the use of recycled steel compared to crude steel production in the first half of 2023, while the United States, Türkiye and the Republic of Korea experienced larger declines. The EU-27 declined by -9.6% to 40.021 million tons and -4.3% to 16.171 million tons, respectively. In contrast, the United States, Türkiye and the Republic of Korea experienced larger declines in recycled steel consumption compared to crude steel production.

Türkiye's recycled steel imports decline

Türkiye's purchases of recycled steel from abroad fell 22.9% to 9.637 million tons in the first half of 2023, but remained the world's largest importer. The US, the Netherlands and Belgium were the main suppliers. India was the second largest importer, up 105.5% y-o-y to 5.491 million tons. The US ranked third with 2.611 million tons, up by 4.1%. Recycled steel imports increased in Taiwan, while imports decreased in the EU-27, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Indonesia and Canada. Imports to Taiwan increased by 18.8% to 1.760 million tons.

European Union remains an exporter of recycled steel

The EU-27 remained the world's largest recycled steel exporter in the first half of 2023, with a 4.5% increase in shipments. Türkiye, India and Egypt were the three largest buyers. Other major buyers were the United States, Norway, Pakistan, Morocco and Switzerland. Shipments of recycled steel also increased in Japan and Canada. Despite the decline in exports, the United States remained the world's second largest exporter of recycled steel. Mexico, Australia, Singapore and South Africa saw declines in exports. The EU-27 remains the world's largest exporter of recycled steel.


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