BIR Ferrous Metals Quarterly Report – July 2019: Expectations of better times ahead

By Greg Schnitzer, President of the BIR Ferrous Division.

Two words: summer doldrums. We have heard about them and lived through them before, but this time it’s different. They came later and lasted longer than usual. The unusual buying pattern by Turkish steelmakers adds to an already uncertain market, but when they return, they’re positioned well for a pleasant rebound.

The first half of the year is over, and now the focus is to finish the second half strong. July and August sales are already underway. We’ve seen a slight uptick since June and, based on summer almost being over, I think we can expect better times ahead. Iron ore pricing sitting at close to record levels could provide the possibility of more scrap consumption versus iron ore but, once again, there are so many variables to take into consideration for that to happen.

Some of the recent factors affecting today’s market include summer maintenance and expensive power. Future possible effects, meanwhile, could come from: Brexit; IMO 2020 fuel regulations; Section 232 and all other trade impacts; and new capacity. Section 232 is nothing new but, as time goes on, the feeling of a resolution grows closer. I think we would all agree this would be a positive impact for everyone.

On a side note, the Ferrous Division is looking for a few new candidates to join our board. We are looking for representatives for the following markets: China and Ukraine/Russia. If interested, please submit your note of interest along with a brief summary of your experience in these markets (

Please remember to start making your plans for Budapest; it’s right around the corner. This meeting looks set to happen at a very pivotal time for our markets, and in a city you should not miss.

Source: Bureau of International Recycling (BIR)




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