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Markets in ferrous scrap for steelmaking

Aylen, Jonathan and Albertson, Kevin (2006) Markets in ferrous scrap for steelmaking. Ironmaking & steelmaking, 33 (3). pp. 203-212. ISSN 0301-9233

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The global scrap market supplies 40% of ferrous material used for steelmaking. Scrap is consolidated up a tier of processors. World prices for scrap are set in the USA and transmitted through dockside trading. British and American scrap markets have become more closely cointegrated over time, with fewer price differences owing to short run seasonal variations. Scrap prices regularly halve and double. The scrap market is also affected by episodic price 'bubbles' and occasional price crashes. These are rare and transient features of the market. The rise of US minimills and growth in Far Eastern demand have not caused any structural breaks in the behaviour of markets. Statistical tests suggest there is no long run relationship between scrap prices and energy prices. Recycling works on a global basis. There is scope for closer collaboration between steelmakers, scrap suppliers and manufacturers to promote re-use, remanufacture and recycling through careful initial design and material selection.

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