Italian steel trade association Assofermet says there is no scrap shortage caused by exports that may impact Italian steelmaking.
Italian scrap exports to countries outside Europe decreased by 12.6% on-year in 2021 to 393,000 tonnes, from 450,000t the previous year, while Italian scrap purchases from European countries reached 5.6 million tonnes, up 15.5%.
“The figures show how irrelevant the export share of scrap from national borders to non-EU countries is, even in a context like the current one with the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which in a few days has changed the world scenario of raw materials,” Assofermet wrote in a letter to authorities seen by Kallanish.
The letter comes in response to the measure implemented by the economic development ministry (Mise) that requires scrap companies to notify authorities of every export sale.
This is seen as yet another attempt, encouraged by the steelmakers’ lobby, to intimidate exporters and keep material available for the domestic steelmaking facilities. In case of failure to declare an export deal, an administrative sanction of 30% will be levied of the value of the transaction, not less than €30,000 ($32,936), for each individual transaction.
Sources close to the subject say the notification has no value in legal terms as an export ban, although scrap is considered a critical material in Italy. Talk of the EU not imposing a scrap export ban seems to have disappointed certain steelmakers, sources say.
Some recycling companies and traders tell Kallanish they responded to the ministry initiative with a lawyer’s letter. They believe the provision is an exercise to keep a record of tonnages sold on the export market and those companies involved in the export business. Italian steelmakers have always been against exporting scrap and have in the past solicited environmental controls on cargoes at ports to slow down trade.
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