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China to boost steel scrap usage by 23per cent in next five years

BEIJING: China plans to increase its use of steel scrap by 23per cent to 320 million tonnes by 2025 and to increase production of recycled nonferrous metals, in an effort to ensure supplies and to meet the country's climate commitments.

The world's top metals consumer will boost its recycled nonferrous output to 20 million tonnes in the next five years from 14.5 million tonnes in 2020, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Wednesday.

That includes targets of four million tonnes of recycled copper, 11.5 million tonnes of recycled aluminium and 2.9 million tonnes of recycled lead, the state planner said in a statement.

The NDRC also vowed to raise the substitution rate of renewable resources to primary resources and to enhance utilisation of low-grade ores, tailing dams and other resources.

China's steel scrap usage was around 260 million tonnes in 2020, which could replace 410 million tonnes of 62per cent iron ore input, said the state planner.

The country brought in more than one billion tonnes of iron ore per year, accounting for more than 80per cent of its total consumption.

Surging global metals prices have driven up producer price inflation in China this year, prompting authorities to take numerous steps to tamp down speculation. Prices for iron ore with 62per cent iron content for delivery to China have jumped 38per cent so far in 2021.

"The global supply chain had been seriously shocked by non-economic factors, increasing uncertainty of supplies... had posed a major challenge to China's resource security," said the NDRC.

The plan will also help the country to meet its carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals, according to the statement.

China plans to bring its greenhouse gas emissions to a peak before 2030 and to become "carbon neutral" by 2060.

The ferrous sector contributes about 15per cent to China's total carbon emissions while the nonferrous industry accounts for about 4.7per cent.

(Reporting by Min Zhang, Muyu Xu and Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Kim Coghill)

Source: Reuters

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