The COVID-19 pandemic continues to hamper the UK scrap metal market and the world’s economies, affecting prices, volumes and the end destination for material. The initial business resurgence on the return to work has now eased to a more moderate level of activity as more merchants reopen their operations.
Prices continue to fluctuate within a narrow range, testing recycling viability at the lower end, with freight rates contributing more to the price differential than the supply and demand of the steelmakers. However, there seems to be fair demand in the market at present for quality scrap - both domestically and on the export front - with material flowing, albeit at a reduced volume.
The main concerns have to be the wider economy and the outlook for large consumers, such as the construction sector, car manufacturers and engineering companies. It seems likely that some form of government intervention will be required to kick-start these industries.
Mellor Metals Ltd (GBR), Board Member of the BIR Ferrous Division