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China plans to increase its use of scrap metal to 30% by 2025

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The years spanning 2021-2025, the designated period of China's 14th Five-Year Plan, will be a "golden time" for the development of the Chinese scrap steel industry as the country aims to bring scrap steel use up to 30% by the end of the year, according to Li Shubin. Executive Vice President of China Scrap Metal Utilization Association (CAMU).

Speaking at the Steel Scrap Forum at the 5th Shanghai International Steel Products Conference (CSDIC) on July 28, Li said this goal is critical in the context of China's drive to reduce air pollution and achieve minimum carbon emissions.

Development of the metallurgical industry in China


Increasing the use of scrap steel is the best way to green the steel industry and the most effective way to achieve the dual carbon targets set by Chinese President Xi Jinping (reaching peak carbon by 2030 and carbon neutral by 2060), Li stressed at the forum.

Using scrap to produce one ton of steel can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.6 tons, reduce the standard consumption of coal equivalent to 350 kg, 1.7 tons of water and 1.6 tons of iron ore concentrates.

According to Li, the target for a scrap rate of 30% was recorded in the "14th Five-Year" plan for the development of the scrap steel industry in China, which has been finalized and will be published "very soon."

How steel scrap is used in China


In fact, the use of scrap steel in China has grown significantly in recent years. According to CAMU statistics, during the 13th five-year plan (2016-2020), scrap metal use in China averaged 18.8%, compared to 11.3% in 2011-2015.

In the first half of this year, the level of utilization of steel scrap was 21.9%, which is 0.2% more than last year. Scrap steel consumption in China during this period was 137 million tonnes, a whopping 44.2 million tonnes or 47.1% more than last year, thanks to “a decline in domestic pig iron production and record high profits for domestic steel mills.

In addition, he said, increasing the stocks of steel scrap in the country by promoting industrial products at the end of the life cycle, such as cars, will also help to realize the 30 percent share.

By 2025, China's stocks of scrap steel will reach 300-320 million tonnes, up from 250 million tonnes in 2020.