Ferrous scrap prices surge to record highs as war in Ukraine causes upheaval

The war against Ukraine and its countless knock-on effects continue to dominate the conversation in all areas of private and professional life. The steel industry is no exception here, and the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is being felt by both upstream and downstream sectors: in disrupted supply chains, raw material shortages and skyrocketing costs for energy, fuel and scrap. In the monthly EUWID survey of the German ferrous scrap market, respondents described the situation as “turbulent,” “chaotic” and “catastrophic”. Players say they are unable to plan for the long term or even the medium term and are just taking things day by day.

The current upheaval has dealt another economic blow to the automotive industry. For months, this sector has faced repeated production stoppages due to delivery bottlenecks for key components, in particular electronic chips. In January and February, it appeared the situation was finally starting to improve and arisings from industrial scrap generators were slowly starting to grow again. But the outbreak of war in Ukraine has caused new disruptions in key supply chains. Wiring harnesses in particular are now in short supply. Nuremberg-based wiring specialist Leoni, one of the main suppliers to automotive plants, was forced to suspend production in Ukraine. Consequently, German auto-makers such as BMW, Daimler, VW and Audi have had to scale back production again and put thousands of employees on short-time work....

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