The China Shock Revisited: Shifts in the Scrap Market Dynamics and Their Ramifications
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∙ China’s steel scrap consumption totaled 100.1 Mt in 2016 and China exported 2.2 Mt of steel scrap in 2017. Despite China’s power in the global steel market, its standing in the scrap market is minimal.
- EAF represented only 5.2% of Chinese crude steel production, far lower than the global average of 26%.
∙ With the closure of ditiaogang facilities in 2017, the Chinese steel scrap market is tumbling, as evidenced by the surge of China’s scrap exports from 1,000 tonnes in 2016 to 2.2 Mt in 2017.
- With the closure of 140 Mt capacity of ditaiogang, low-quality steel made from scrap metal, approximately 70 Mt of unrecorded scrap transactions have revealed, lead to price decline and export increase.
∙ An analysis of possible long-term and structural changes to the Chinese steel scrap market shows that steel scrap generation is expected to surge and overflow after 2025.
- Chinese steel scrap supply will swell from 170 Mt in 2017 to 310 Mt in 2030, and Chinese scrap consumption is expected to mark 165 Mt in 2017 and 260 Mt by 2030. In this case, the scrap supply glut could reach 17 Mt in 2020 and 50 Mt of excess scrap supply will be added after 2025.
∙ With the rise of scrap supply, there will be an increasing number of small EAFs across China, even in inland China. China will raise its self-sufficiency rate in raw materials supply and could mirror the US structure.
- By 2025, the shock from Chinese steel in the 2000s will be revisited with the impact of Chinese steel scrap.