China is formulating new standards for steel scrap, which is on track to be published at the end of 2020, as part of a drive to alleviate iron ore imports, Xinhua news agency reported.
The establishment of new standards is aimed at classifying steel scarps to strengthen the import of high-quality materials while fending off inferior ones.
Wen Xuefeng, head of the solid waste department at China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said making full use of domestic and international recycled steel would help reduce emissions and alleviate China's over-reliance on iron ore, Xinhua reported.
Iron ore prices have surged more than 50% this year, mainly spurred by the strong post-pandemic economic recovery in China. Data showed China's steel output increased 3.7% to 689 million tonnes in the first eight months.
Australia is China's largest iron ore supplier in the world. In 2019-20 fiscal year, China represented 87% of Australia's total iron ore exports. The trading volume hit a record high of AU$102 billion, according to a report by Australian Financial News
Iron ore is the basic feedstock of blast furnaces to make pig iron, which is then processed into billets and steel products, while steel scrap can be melted in electric arc furnaces (EAFs) to make recycled metal.
Compared with blast furnaces, EAFs are more environment-friendly and energy-saving. To use one tonne of steel scrap by the EAF steelmaking process is equal to use 1.7 tonnes of washed iron ore, and can save 60% power, 40% of water, and reduce 86% of emissions.
In this case, the new steel scrap standards will also contribute to the EAF development in the country.
(Writing by Alex Guo Editing by Harry Huo)
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