Will the US run out of steel scrap?

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Report summary

Apart from the recent boom years, the rewards for converting iron, coal and scrap into commodity grade steel have been limited. Since 2009, when demand collapsed and mills outside of China became raw material price takers, profitability has come under pressure once again and steelmakers have been forced to reconsider their strategy for survival. This had awakened a somewhat forgotten debate on making steel via electric arc furnaces versus basic oxygen furnaces...

What's included

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  • Document

    US scrap demand-supply summary (V1.0).xls

    XLS 101.50 KB

  • Document

    Will the US run out of steel scrap?

    PDF 334.51 KB

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    Will the US run out of steel scrap?

    ZIP 384.28 KB

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • Demand
    • Home scrap
    • Prompt scrap
    • Obsolete scrap
  • Total scrap supply
  • How scrap demand compares to supply

Tables and charts

This report includes 12 images and tables including:


  • US Steel profitability is highly volatile
  • Nucor achieves higher and more stable margins
  • The EAF share of steelmaking will rise as more flexible electric furnaces replace the large-scale, capital-intensive blast furnaces and oxygen converters
  • The majority of scrap is consumed in EAF steelmaking, with more than a 1,000 kg of scrap used for each tonne of steel made
  • Sources of steel scrap
  • Estimated scrap supply by source
  • Scrap supply that is not consumed domestically is exported
  • Scrap supply will be sufficient to accommodate rising scrap demand over the next 20 years
  • Relative sector sizes have changed drastically since the 1900s
  • Since the 1990s, the US has been a significant net-importer of vehicles
  • A longer lifecycle delays the impact of demand fall during the 90s and the GFC
  • Indirect steel imports have a major impact on obsolete scrap supply

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