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Brighter prospects for ferrous markets

The global market for ferrous metals has picked up, according to leading figures in the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR).

William Schmiedel, president of the BIR’s ferrous division, wrote in the organisation’s latest newsletter: “Overall, our industry is on a stronger footing than a year ago and we can be cautiously optimistic for the balance of 2017.”

Tom Bird, board member of the division and chief executive of Liberty Steel UK, said there had been a gradual improvement in market conditions in Europe since BIR’s meeting in Hong Kong in May.

“Across all EU regions, there has been a steady rise in prices. Demand has remained healthy despite considerable uncertainty surrounding the macro-economic climate.

“We have not had the volatility in the market as was witnessed at the beginning of 2017,” he added.

He said prices into Turkey had risen steadily following Ramadan and increases have been reflected in domestic markets. Finished steel prices had also remained strong.

Rolf Willeke, BIR’s statistics adviser, reported that, in the first three months of 2017, there had been growth in steel scrap usage for crude steel production in all key countries and regions.

“China increased its steel scrap consumption by around 29.7% to 25.3 million tonnes in this year’s first quarter, while an upturn was also clearly visible in the EU28’s steel scrap usage (up 31.1% to 29 million tonnes), with its biggest consumer being Italy (up 45.2% to 7.167 million tonnes),” he said.

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