The Recycling Today Media Group has been busy these last few months preparing for our 2012 Paper Recycling Conference & Trade Show, scheduled for Oct. 14 to 16 in downtown Chicago. While the conference focuses on the state of the paper recycling and manufacturing industries, the programming also encompasses other materials, as traditional paper stock plants and material recovery facilities (MRFs) increasingly find themselves handling a more diverse material stream in which paper plays a less prominent role than it has in the past.
We will look beyond paper in the sessions “Safe & Secure, where panelists examine the security issues related to handling sensitive information in printed and digital form as well as off-spec or obsolete products, and “Marketing Plastics 3–7,” where speakers discuss supply concerns, buy/sell issues and uses for mixed rigid containers and plastics 3 through 7. These sessions are scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 14, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Additionally, from 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday, speakers at the session “A Thirst for Aluminum” look at opportunities in handling aluminum UBCs (used beverage containers).
Plastics are on the agenda again Monday, Oct. 15, in the session “The Future is Plastics,” beginning at 4:30 p.m. Panelists look at markets for some of the most common grades of plastics, including PET (polyethylene terephthalate), HDPE (high-density polyethylene) and LDPE (low-density polyethylene).
We hope you’ll join us at the 2012 Paper Recycling Conference to network with representatives from many processing and consuming companies. Please visit www.PaperRecyclingConference.com for more information on programming and registration.
Margalit writes, “Thanks to advancements in excitation and detector technology, XRF is now very capable of separating dozens of aluminum alloys within all the major families. Such technological advancements include the introduction of the silicon drift detector (SDD), powerful X-ray tubes and the optimization of sample-to-detector geometry.”
He adds, “I should also note that this level of performance is achieved under ambient conditions, i.e., without the need for vacuum (as stated in the article).”
Recycling Today apologizes for the error.
Demand for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and recycled PET (RPET) continues to outpace supply. With additional RPET production capacity coming online recently and announcements of future expansions on the part of companies such as US Fibers and Perpetual Recycling Solutions, demand is likely to continue exceeding supply, which will affect pricing for RPET and PET bales.
“The demand for bottles to recycle and RPET continues to grow in the market as more manufacturers and products continue to look for opportunities to create and promote sustainability and a green story regarding their product offerings,” Turner Plunkett, president of the board of directors at Clear Path Recycling LLC, Fayetteville, N.C., says.
Clear Path is a joint venture between Shaw Industries Group Inc. and DAK Americas LLC created to recycle post-consumer PET bottles to produce RPET flake. Shaw Industries is a carpet manufacturer and floor covering provider, while DAK Americas produces polyester staple fiber PET resin.
“Demand is always greater than supply,” says Dave Cornell, technical director of the Association of Postconsumer Plastics Recyclers (APR), Arlington, Va. He says government mandates, brands and economics drive demand for RPET.
While PET containers continue to grow in terms of market share, the recovery rate for this material has been holding fairly steady.
According to the “2010 Report on Post Consumer PET Container Recycling Activity,” issued in late 2011 by the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), Sonoma, Calif., in combination with the APR, the recycling rate for PET bottles and jars reached 29.1 percent in 2010. Of the 5,350 million pounds of PET bottles available for recycling in the U.S., 1,557 million pounds were recovered and sold for recycling that year. The amount of bottles collected for recycling increased by 113 million pounds in 2010 compared with 2009, the report sates, in light of an increase in the number of bottles available for recycling, a 50 million-plus increase in the weight of bottles collected through deposit program expansions in Oregon, Connecticut and New York, new curbside programs and commercial recovery efforts.
With the relatively flat recycling rate compared to the 28 percent achieved in 2009, reclaimers in the U.S. again needed to look outside of the U.S. for their supply, purchasing 89.5 million pounds of post-consumer bottles from Canada and Mexico as well as from South and Central America, NAPCOR says. “Domestic reclaimers also reported buying 20.3 million pounds of alternative feedstock, include pre-consumer bottles, post-consumer strapping and other unprocessed industrial scrap,” the report notes.
“The collection rate for bottles has been somewhat lackluster for the last 10-odd years,” says Steve Navedo, vice president of sales and quality assurance for East Farmingdale, N.Y.-based Pure Tech Plastics LLC, which largely produces RPET for direct-food contact applications. He is also a member of the APR board of directors.
To fulfill the available PET recycling capacity in the U.S., Navedo says the bottle recycling rate would need to be in the neighborhood of 40 to 50 percent. He estimates that the industry has a capacity utilization rate of from 65 to 70 percent currently. “At least 30 percent of the capacity is not being used.”
Dennis Sabourin, executive director of NAPCOR, says the nature of the plastic container stream has changed dramatically in the last few years with the growth of thermoform containers, which are formed from PET sheets. He estimates that thermoforms account for one-third of PET packaging, while bottles and jars account for two-thirds. He says much of the growth in PET container market share is in thermoforms, prompting NAPCOR and APR to dedicate efforts to growing the recovery of this material.
Navedo says that in an effort to get additional material for recycling, the industry has had to look to other areas, such as thermoforms. “We cannot afford to ignore that potential stream.”
Bale quality can tend to deteriorate when supply tightens, says Carlos Gutierrez, president and CEO of New United Resource Recovery Corp. (NURRC), Spartanburg, S.C. He says, “Suppliers here are not obliged to improve their quality” as long as buyers for Chinese consumers are sourcing material from the U.S. “The Chinese will buy anything.”
NURRC produces RPET for food-contact applications.
Quality problems, specifically with material from curbside programs, is further narrowing reclaimers’ already thin processing margins, Gutierrez adds.
Dennis Denton of ORPET, St. Helens, Ore., says it is a “known fact” that curbside material is more contaminated that PET bottles collected through deposit programs, which contributes to the regional nature of the U.S. plastics recycling industry. “You don’t want to haul contaminated material a long way,” he says.
ORPET is a partnership between private investors headed by Denton of Denton Plastics, Portland, Ore., and Tom Leaptrott and the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, a statewide industry cooperative and the predominant administrator of the Oregon bottle deposit law.
U.S. reclaimers told NAPCOR that their yield losses ranged from 24.4 percent for deposit bottles to 32.2 percent for curbside material in 2010, a marked increase from 2009.
With nearly half of the PET bottles recovered for recycling being exported to China for processing, quality and supply issues are likely to remain a problem for the foreseeable future.
“For the last several years, exports have exceeded domestic use of U.S.A.-collected material, with most going to China,” APR’s Cornell says. “China continues to be a major buyer and ultimate destination of U.S.A.-collected post-consumer material.”
China’s buying is having serious effects on domestic reclaimers, Navedo says, largely in the form of reduced domestic supply and higher prices for recovered material.
Buyers for Chinese reclaimers continue to set the tone for PET bale prices, particularly on the West Coast, sources say, which often makes material in that region more expensive than material on the East Coast. In addition, because of the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China, shipping costs are often more favorable from the West Coast to China than to many U.S. destinations. Sabourin says, “It costs less to export baled bottles to China than to transport that material by truck to major markets in the U.S. from the West Coast.”
So far this year, China’s role in the PET bottle market has been less pronounced than in recent years, sources say.
Plunkett says, “The Chinese have been slowing their bottle purchasing in the past few months. Their demand has decreased related to their economy. This combined with seasonal increases in bottle consumption are delivering some softening in price.”
Plunkett say pricing has been trending downward since spring and is expected to flatten this summer. “RPET flake will follow bottle pricing and will be influenced by the pricing of virgin PET,” he adds.
Gutierrez says the price of PET bales from curbside programs in his region has declined in recent months, selling for 20-odd cents per pound as of mid-June. “In the past year, it reached 41 cents per pound,” he adds. However, given the yield loss from these bales, Gutierrez says his company was really paying closer to 70 cents per pound for material.
Cornell adds, “Prices over the last five years have varied significantly.” He notes that in the last year, PET bale prices have ranged from the 20s into the 30s on a per-pound basis.
He says he’s hopeful that bale quality will improve as prices decline in light of China’s pullback from the market.
Cornell adds, “Flake prices will reflect purity and competitive costs versus virgin for a given application.”
According to NAPCOR’s 2010 report, bales of good quality, dirty granulate and bales of deposit bottles were in high demand and short supply, commanding a premium of 10 cents per pound compared with curbside bales.
The limited supply of recovered containers and China’s influence on pricing for available material concern Navero, he says. “My fear is that if recycled PET does get to the point that the supply is so limited, pricing will continue to increase. It is not good for recycled to cost more than virgin resin. As green as people may want to be, if your supply costs more than virgin, people are only going to be green to a certain point.” Navero adds, “We need to get supply up to stabilize pricing.”
Denton says many factors affect pricing for PET bales and RPET, including shortages of other materials. He cites the problem with cotton crops a year ago, which led to increased demand and pricing for polyester and RPET.
“Economic viability” also is at play, he says. “With the price of resin going the way oil goes, brand owners are looking for alternative sources to reduce costs.”
He adds, “The ultimate answer is having the public buy into recycling and want more recycled materials.”
The author is managing editor of Recycling Today and can be contacted at email@example.com.
Many organizations within the recycling industry hope for zero accidents. These organizations spend significant resources on safety but often do not achieve the results they are hoping for. Many of the safety activities are well-intentioned but are not based on a real plan or strategy to reduce losses. What many of these organizations lack is a safety process.
A safety process is a strategic plan that uses a series of activities and events that are designed to reduce losses. An effective safety process will use measurements for each element to track goals, completion and results. The objective is to align safety as a process within an organization that is managed as any other process that drives the success of an organization.
Developing an effective safety process does not have to be overly complex. Successful operations have developed processes that can be referenced and tracked toward a specified goal. An effective safety process follows the same basic principles. Safety activities that are not a part of a defined process are likely to be random and create inconsistent results.
An effective safety process has identifiable elements. Each element contributes to the overall success of the strategy. The six key elements include:
- A written program;
- Safety training and communication;
- Evaluation and monitoring;
- Claims management;
- Benchmarking; and
- Employee health and wellness.
(Part 1 of this article will address the first three of these six elements.)
Put it in writing
Written safety policies are similar to blueprints for constructing a building in that they provide direction and guidance toward a goal or outcome. The goal of safety is to limit losses and to comply with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations. Companies also are likely to have a few other definable goals for their safety programs. Most recycling operations have documented safety policies of some form.
Common weaknesses of safety policies are that they are too generic, overly technical or do not effectively communicate the day-to-day dos and don’ts workers need to know. Additionally, many companies with written safety policies do not put the actual policies in the hands of their workers.
Examples of some of the common safety policies that recycling companies need to ensure OSHA compliance and to manage their exposure include:
- Electrical safety;
- Fall protection;
- Personal protective equipment (also known as PPE);
- Hot work;
- General safety rules;
- Accident investigation;
- Hazard communication;
- Emergency response; and
- Machine guarding.
At a minimum, each of these areas requires safety policies and, most likely, policies will be required for other more specific areas.
When policies are developed, they also must be implemented and communicated throughout the organization. Safety is a dynamic topic that changes over time. Policies should be reviewed annually to determine if they meet all of the exposures for an operation. It is likely that some safety policies will require periodic updates.
Train and communicate
Most organizations have very good intentions to train their workers about safety issues. Quite often, however, this training gets put onto the back burner and another year passes without conducting meaningful safety training for the average worker.
A good safety process includes a needs assessment regarding safety training and has an annual safety training plan. An annual safety training plan will consider which employees require training, resources for training and frequency of training.
In general, safety training topics should include the topics covered in a company’s written safety policy manual. Additional topics such as general hazard recognition should be included in the annual plan.
Some additional considerations for training include:
- All safety training activity must be documented. Documentation will include date, trainer, topic and copy of handouts used.
- Safety training must be presented in a language that each member of the workforce understands.
- To be effective, safety training should be completed periodically throughout year. A single annual safety training event is not as effective as ongoing safety training events.
- Short weekly safety training discussions, or tool-box talks, can be an effective way to keep the safety at the forefront of an operation.
Evaluate and monitor
OSHA requires that “frequent and regular” safety inspections be performed at workplaces. This is another key element of an effective safety process.
Regular safety inspections will identify hazards, effectiveness of safety policies and application of safe work practices. They also will help increase overall safety awareness at the facility.
Key areas to self-evaluate include:
- Physical conditions;
- Use of PPE;
- Fire protection;
- Equipment use;
- Safe work practices; and
- Driver operations on the tipping floor and around the facility.
A location-specific inspection form should be developed for a facility to efficiently address key safety issues. The results of a safety inspection should be addressed by the appropriate supervisors for follow up. Any unsafe conditions must receive immediate corrective action. Unsafe work practices should result in brief safety discussions or safety training with effected workers. The results of the inspection also should be shared with workers for their knowledge and to continually promote safety awareness.
Like any other safety activity, safety inspections should be documented and maintained on file. Corrective action also should be documented for any safety concerns noted in the inspection.
These three elements start the path to an effective safety process. A future issue of Recycling Today will address the remaining three key safety elements: claims management, benchmarking and employee health and wellness.
John E. Schumacher is a certified safety professional (CSP) and an insurance and risk management professional with more than 20 years of experience assisting organizations in developing strategic approaches to reducing losses and managing insurance costs. Sample safety inspection forms and other information are available from Schumacher by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-463-7224.
|An Eriez installation at American Iron & Metal helps to recover nonferrous metals from ASR.|
Recovering greater portions of nonferrous metals from auto shredder residue (ASR) has increased as a priority for many auto shredder operators. What’s more, processors want the metals they recover to be further separated into zorba and zurik, the specifications for which have been established by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI), Washington, D.C.
To that end, equipment manufacturers have made technological improvements to help maximize the recovery and quality of nonferrous metals downstream of the auto shredder. While their objectives are the same, vendors have come up with numerous methods for achieving those goals.
In its “Scrap Specifications Circular,” ISRI defines zorba as shredded mixed nonferrous metals consisting primarily of aluminum generated by eddy-current or other segregation techniques.
Meanwhile, zurik is defined as nonferrous scrap that’s predominantly stainless steel and has been generated by computer sensing equipment, such as induction sensor sorting or X-ray techniques.
Being able to sort ASR to create these two products, at high purity levels, potentially differentiates one processor from another. The technology to do so can be costly but can result in more marketable and vualuable end products.
“Capturing only an extra few percentage points by weight of zorba and zurik can add tens of thousands of dollars per month to the bottom line and reduce landfill costs,” says Brian Vrablic, sales engineer with Eriez, based in Erie, Pa.
Part of the objective is total metal recovery. Dennis Ciccotelli, scrap market manager for Steinert U.S., based in Erlanger, Ky., says ASR, which normally accounts for about one-fourth of the tonnage originally shredded, can contain from 5 to 10 percent metals. “We take this material that is 5 to 10 percent metal and we try to get 99 percent of the metal out,” Ciccotelli says.
Vrablic says shredder operators need to decide what level of separation they are trying to achieve and what that is worth to them. “The more you want to get, the more expensive it is,” he observes.
Manufacturers of downstream separation and sorting technologies tend to have similar but not identical methods for recovering these two products from ASR. Sizing the nonferrous material is often the first step in helping to create the zorba and zurik products, according to sorting equipment manufacturers.
Bill Close, sales engineer with Wendt Corp., based in Tonawanda, N.Y., says sorting ASR by size before it’s separated results in better quality. “We prefer different size cuts because it’s easier to tune the machines,” he says. This produces optimal sorting in terms of metals recovered, Close adds, in addition to improving the quality and cleanliness of that metal.
|Material that is separated first by size may be more suitable for optimal sorting.|
Close describes a recent installation that sorts ASR using various screens into three fractions of different sizes. Each of those streams is then run through its own sorting processes. Each stream is first presented to a magnet to pull out ferrous dirt and fuzz, thus preparing the metal for the eddy current. “There is about 4 percent ferrous still remaining in the flow,” Close says.
Next, the eddy currents eject aluminum, brass and copper from the flow, but not stainless steel and wire, thus producing zorba, the first product stream to come off the plant.
“What’s not recovered by the eddy currents goes to the sensors,” Close says.
Wendt has partnered with Titech, which provides its Finder line of sensor-sorting equipment for recovery plants. Close says one set of Titech Finders can be used to remove the bulk of the material stream in just one pass: the nonmetallic landfill waste. With advances in sensor technology and imaging software technology, Close says, “We’re now actually in the territory of about 0.5 percent to 0.6 percent total metal content remaining in the trash stream.”
The remaining material can then be run through a second set of Finder sorters to refine the metal fraction of the stream further, producing zurik. “We are targeting and shooting the metal out of the flow and that would be taking the solids to make the zurik fraction,” he explains. Wire is deliberately missed in this process, Close says.
Finally, each stream is passed through a Titech Polyfinder to recover insulated and bare wire. The Polyfinder uses a sensor sorter to identify wire and a near-infrared optical sorter to identify the plastic insulation.
Close says those processors with lower tonnages and more time to spare also could use the Polyfinders to handle all passes of the nonferrous stream. “They can make an investment in just the Polyfinder and do multiple passes on the equipment,” he explains, selecting different parameters for each sort.
Heiner Guschall of SiCon GmbH, Hilchenbach, Germany, says until the introduction of sensor-based sorting systems some eight to 10 years ago, the loss of nonferrous metals in ASR was significant in the United States. Guschall says sensor-based systems allowed the dry separation of metals—stainless steel and wires—that might be missed by an eddy current. “These machines have been improved during the last years,” he says. Effective systems can separate wire and cable and stainless steel from other nonferrous metals.
Recent advances in nonferrous recovery technology revolve around fines and fluff processing, Vrablic says. “This technology includes high-strength magnetic separation aimed at fine ferrous, high-frequency eddy-current separators and induction sensor separation technology,” he explains.
Similarly, Guschall says the performance of eddy currents for the separation of zorba fines down to 1 millimeter and smaller has improved tremendously. “There are huge performance differences when we look at small particles,” he says. He points out that an eddy current shows better performance when it is fed by a defined fraction size. Guschall adds that screening to a defined size and ensuring there are few gaps in material are key. “This is often missing in older plants.”
Ciccotelli says another trend is using sorters with more than one type of sensor. “Today you can use three methods in some of these modern machines,” he says, citing shape, metallic level and color as the predominant factors. He also explains that multi-sensors have a “teach-and-learn mode” that will recognize materials approaching the sorter from numerous angles.
|Alter Trrading’s Davenport, Iowa, yard includes sorting equipment from Wendt Corp.|
During the last few years, Steinert U.S. has been employing a separating tower design for recovery plants in which ASR is lifted and then cascades through a variety of separation machines, using gravity rather than conveyors.
“If well designed it can be a very efficient operation and not take up a lot of space,” Ciccotelli explains. “The technique of using cascading machines helps to reduce material handling equipment and material spillage,” he says.
Ciccotelli says Steinert’s sensors are designed to take the nonferrous product and get it to as much as 99 percent purity, using sensors that analyze color, shape and even transmissive X-rays.
Induction sensors are used toward the end of the process to sort stainless steel, Ciccotelli says. “Stainless for us is easier to detect after all the ferrous and the nonferrous is out,” he explains. “Most of the metal that’s left in the fluff after those two major processes is stainless.”
Guschall points out that different equipment vendors have different philosophies when it comes to creating zurik. With the SiCon 100/120 system, he says, “we combine mechanical processing with the use of sensor machines and achieve metal purities of much more than 90 percent and at the same time no loss of metals in the waste.”
Eriez meanwhile uses the ProSort II, an airless paddle-driven induction sensor sorter to process the waste product off the eddy currents. Vrablic says material must generally make two passes through the sensor machines to make a quality zurik product. “The first pass gets all the metal, and the second pass cleans that metal up,” Vrablic explains.
A Uniform Flow
Close says the performance of ASR recovery and sorting technology is best enhanced by having conveying systems that deliver a uniform flow, as opposed to surges of material. Toward that end, Close also says Wendt’s nonferrous recovery and refinement plants are designed to be used offline from the the shredding plant to better manage material flows. “Shredders will always produce surges of the material,” he says. He also points out that shredding operations tend to run at a much faster pace than do nonferrous recovery operations. “What we’ve observed is that when the two plants have been joined together you basically have the two management teams in disagreement,” Close explains. “That’s why we advocate for keeping the plants segregated, so that the management teams can each pursue their goals individually.”
Similarly, Guschall says an offline installation always has advantages. “We usually offer the customer the option of inline operation as the base case and off-line in case of surges,” he says. “If a plant is running inline, then a detailed analysis of the mass flow is necessary.” He explains that if shredder surges aren’t considered in the design of nonferrous downstream plants, they could lead to a loss of metals or inefficient use of the plant. “SiCon has an in-house developed mass-balance tool which simulates the massflow at each step of the plants so that we make sure that our plants never have such design deficits,” he says.
Meanwhile Vrablic says Eriez prefers to place its nonferrous equipment inline with the auto shredder, “because that reduces your material handling costs.”
However, he says processors still should allow for the ability to inject material into the delivery system offline. “It really is a good idea if you’re building a new nonferrous downstream or you’re building a plant that you allow for the ability to inject material into the downstream offline.”
He says this could be accomplished by having a dump hopper in front of the conveyor feeding the screener. Another reason for having this dump hopper, he adds, is because the material has to be run through the sorters twice generally.
The size of the operation is an important consideration in selecting nonferrous equipment. Ciccotelli says Steinert U.S. makes nonferrous sorting equipment for shredders processing from 60 tons per hour up to 400 tons per hour.
The company’s goal is to set up systems that will pay for themselves in about a year. “In some cases where we’ve added stainless steel to an existing system, we’ve had customers tell us that in 16 weeks they had recovered the cost of the machine,” Ciccotelli says.
The author is managing editor of Recycling Today Global Edition and can be contacted at email@example.com.
After more than half a year of relatively smooth waters, tough times returned to the ferrous scrap market in late May and early June in the form of price drops in the $50-to-$65 range.
U.S. steel mills buying on the spot market in late May and early June paid up to $65 less per ton for ferrous scrap compared with the month before, according to the monthly averages issued by the Raw Material Data Aggregation Service (RMDAS) of Management Science Associates (MSA), Pittsburgh.
Average per-ton prices in the buying period fell below $400 per ton for all major ferrous grades in all three RMDAS regions.
The South region experienced some of biggest price swings, with the RMDAS prompt industrial composite grade (consisting of No. 1 busheling, No. 1 bundles and No. 1 factory bundles) there dropping $65 in value.
Pricing in all three regions fell considerably, however, with No. 1 heavy melting steel falling to $340 per ton in the North Midwest region (the lowest per-ton regional price for a grade). The prompt grade in the North Central/East region stayed closest to the $400 level, finishing with a $395 average per-ton sale price.
As the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) Ferrous Division met in Rome in late May, the declining markets were just beginning to become evident to scrap traders who offered market reports there.
“Many producers in the steel and metals sector are considering [having] prolonged summer breaks,” warned Anton van Genuchten of Netherlands-based Reukeuma Recycling Alliance BV regarding conditions in Europe. “Consumers, except in Germany, are scared and not spending,” he added. “French and Italian car producers are hit hard; their [sales] have decreased by up to 30 percent.”
Tom Bird, who works for Van Dalen Recycling in the U.K., said purchases from Turkish mills in the first half of 2012 have at times occurred “at levels that disappointed.” Bird added, “The first five months of 2012 have been challenging.”
Blake Kelley, who is based in the Sims Metal Management office in New York, spelled out tight scrap supply conditions in North America but also noted that there were demand concerns on the horizon, including “the situation in Greece, a Chinese economic ‘slowdown,’ sputtering growth in India [and] excess steelmaking capacity.”
Hisatoshi Kojo of Japan’s Metz Corp. similarly painted recent market conditions in a positive light but warned of problems looming that could affect ferrous scrap pricing. “Due to the downturn of new export business, a sluggish steel product market and European economic malaise, higher prices seem unlikely and most scrap dealers are running their yards with minimum stock levels,” he stated.
With prices dropping and supplies tight, flows into scrap yards will remain a source of concern for processors and traders. In the U.S. in late May, Kelley described conditions consisting of “severe competition for unprepared scrap, as dealers are forced to reach out further to find supply volumes.”
Steel mill output, a natural place to look when determining why prices are falling, has not increased on a significant level in the U.S. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), Washington, weekly domestic raw steel production in mid-June was 1.9 million net tons at a capability utilization rate of 76.2 percent. That is 1 percent higher than output during the comparable mid-June week of 2011 and down just 0.2 percent (4,000 tons) from the previous week in June 2012.
And looking at falling worldwide demand as a potential reason for falling prices, the Brussels-based World Steel Association (WorldSteel) has reported that global steel output increased by more than 2 million metric tons in May compared with the prior month.
Even in beleaguered Europe, steel production in May increased by about 400,000 metric tons compared with the previous month, with steelmakers in Germany accounting for one-fourth of that increase.
Although ferrous scrap purchases in Turkey were described at the BIR by Bird as at times “disappointing,” that nation’s steel output rose by a few thousand metric tons in May, reaching the 3 million metric ton mark for the month.
China also kept churning out steel in May, with its production of 61.2 million metric tons surpassing April’s total of 60.6 million metric tons.
A region that moved backward in its steel output in May was South America, with Brazil’s output declining from more than 3 million metric tons in April to 2.9 million in May. Argentina and Venezuela also produced less steel in May compared with April.
June 2012 Spot Pricing
|North Central/ East||North Midwest||South|
|Prompt Industrial Composite||$392||$395||$384||$388|
|#2 Shredded Scrap||$385||$389||$369||$388|
|#2 Shredded/Change vs. Month Before||-$52||-$50||-$57||-$56|
Sellers received from $50-to-$65-per-ton less on the spot market for their ferrous scrap in the June buying period compared to the month before.
Reported regional aggregated spot market prices per gross ton shown for each commodity are based on all Management Science Associates (MSA), Pittsburgh, Raw Material Data Aggregation Service (RMDAS) participants’ actual order data submitted to and processed by MSA as of the 20th of each respective “buy month,” rounded to the whole integer. A map of RMDAS regions is available at http://rmdas.msa.com, as is a further explanation of RMDAS methodology and an accompanying disclaimer.
No. 2 shredded scrap is defined as containing 0.17 percent or greater copper content. The prompt industrial composite consists of an average of No. 1 bundles, No. 1 busheling and No. 1 factory bundles. Additional pricing information on each grade can be found at www.RecyclingToday.com.
© 2012 Management Science Associates Inc. All rights reserved RMDAS is a trademark of Management Science Associates Inc.
(Additional information on ferrous scrap, including breaking news and consuming industry reports, can be found at www.RecyclingToday.com.)