Battery production offcuts and end-of-life batteries are collected, dismantled and shredded to produce black mass from which critical materials such as lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese can be extracted. The recycling of black mass has become increasingly important as a supplement to virgin material supply and to reduce the carbon footprint of the battery supply chain. Platts, part of S&P Commodity Insights, has launched the publication of daily black mass assessments, which will provide greater transparency and understanding of how the market actually operates, especially as there is currently a lack of standardisation and comprehensive coverage in the black mass market. This episode of the Platts Future Energy podcast aims to explore the challenges and opportunities facing the market, unpack these new price assessments, and answer the question of whether black mass has the potential to address the looming supply deficits.Click here to learn more about Platts nine new daily black mass spot price assessments for China and Europe.More listening options:
Momentum for electric vehicles is on the rise as policy, industry investment and market perspectives are aligning for a potential EV revolution. But challenges also remain plentiful.Darcy Bisset, a partner at Hogan Lovells specializing in renewable energy and energy transition transactions, joined the podcast to discuss what's needed to meet ambitious policy goals for EV adoption. She touched on the regulatory uncertainty facing the EV industry as well as her expectations for a very bright future once certain hurdles are cleared. She also shared why she thinks this bright future for EVs does not mean dark days ahead for the oil sector.Stick around after the interview for Jeff Mower with the Market Minute, a look at near-term oil market drivers.Related content:EV adoption to grow rapidly as used vehicles come to lower-income communitiesSenate votes to lift US solar tariff pause despite Biden veto pledge (premium content)'Strongest-ever' emissions rules could boost EVs to two-thirds of new US car salesCalifornia sets sights on zero-emission vehicle future to chagrin of oil, biofuel groupsMore listening options:
FEATURE: Black mass recycling emerges as critical component in Europe's battery supply chains
Europe is experiencing a wave of investment in battery recycling capacity as automakers and battery manufacturers seek to offset the anticipated global shortfall in critical metals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt and copper. With around 50 new battery production plants set to enter production by 2030, many European battery manufacturers are adopting a holistic approach across the entire battery technology chain to ensure they have the materials required to meet an anticipated surge in demand. In addition to securing offtake agreements and reducing the material intensity of their battery chemistries, many European battery producers and automakers are seeking to cut resource consumption and establish a closed-loop recycling of battery raw materials. When batteries are manufactured or reach their end of life, production offcuts or used batteries can be collected, dismantled, shredded and processed to produce black mass, from which critical metals including lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese can be extracted. The production of black mass has become increasingly important as a supplement to virgin material supply and is critical to strengthening Europe's battery supply chains. Commissioned in May 2022, the Hydrovolt battery recycling facility, a joint venture between Norway-based aluminum producer Norsk Hydro and Sweden-based battery manufacturer Northvolt, in Fredrikstad, Norway is currently Europe's largest, capable of processing can process 12,000 mt/year of EV battery packs equivalent to around 25,000 electric vehicle batteries. Hydrovolt said it is considering expanding its European recycling capacity, with a long-term target to recycle approximately 70,000 tons of battery packs by 2025 and 300,000 tons of battery packs by 2030, equivalent to approximately 150,000 EV batteries in 2025 and 500,000 in 2030. "The metals used in battery production are finite, but by substituting raw materials mined from the Earth with recycled materials, we can not only cut the carbon footprint of batteries but enable the sustainable long-term use of li-ion battery technology," Northvolt Chief Environmental Officer Emma Nehrenheim said. Europe's other major recycling facilities include Umicore's battery recycling plant in Hoboken, Belgium, capable of processing 7,000 mt/year of lithium-ion batteries and battery production scrap, equivalent to approximately 35,000 electric vehicle batteries. Building upon this capacity, Umicore recently announced plans to construct a 150,000 mt/year battery recycling plant in Europe by 2026. "This will be the biggest battery recycling plant in Europe and will incorporate proprietary metal extraction technologies developed by Umicore's research and engineering teams," it said. In addition, Fortum Battery Recycling, a subsidiary of European energy company Fortum, announced on April 27 that it had started commercial operations at its new 3,000 mt/year battery metal recycling facility in Harjavalta, Finland. Harjavalta is the location of a Norilsk refinery, from where it supplies BASF's gigafactory and the two companies have signed a letter of intent with Fortum to create a battery recycling cluster. Europe's battery recycling industry is set to expand further with more than a dozen additional projects earmarked for completion before the end of 2026. Most notably, on May 9 Glencore and Li-Cycle announced plans to build a battery recycling plant in Sardinia, Italy capable of processing approximately 50,000-70,000 mt/year of black mass with commissioning expected to commence around late 2026 or early 2027. Li-Cycle is developing three additional recycling facilities in Europe as the company seeks to replicate its successful North American model with a strategically located pre-processing spoke network supplying a centralized post-processing hub. In support of this strategy, the company plans to commission a 30,000 mt/year lithium-ion battery recycling spoke in Germany's Magdeburg region by mid-2023 with a 10,000 mt/year lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Harnes, France due to start operations in 2024. "Li-Cycle's expansion in Europe aligns with our modular rollout strategy, as we replicate our successful North American model, which mirrors customer demand and commercial contracting," said Li-Cycle co-founder and Executive Chair, Tim Johnston. In total, the current pipeline of European battery recycling projects suggests approximately 67,000 mt/year of new capacity set to join the market by the end of 2023, equivalent to the processing and recycling of more than 300,000 EV batteries/year. The accelerating rate of expansion in European battery recycling capacity comes amid supply concerns and soaring demand projections. The global lithium market alone could see a deficit of up to 220,000mt by 2030 even if all projects in development are executed on time, according to forecasts released by S&P Global Market Intelligence in January 2022. While the black mass market is also growing exponentially it remains unclear exactly how much is going to be open on the free market for trading, although large raw materials traders have already entered in to the trading space. Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, launched nine daily Black Mass price assessments on April 17 aimed at bringing greater transparency to pricing of the battery raw materials market. The initial assessment on the black mass payables for Ni-Co black mass EXW Europe, cobalt payables were assessed at 60% basis European cobalt metal 99.8% on May 16 unchanged from the previous week. Nickel payables were assessed at 65% basis LME nickel on May 16 unchanged on the week. The EXW lithium payables were assessed flat at 0% on May 16 and have been at this level since the price was launched on April 17. Any value for the lithium has been added on to either the cobalt or nickel price and not yet price on its own value. The reason for this is because pyrometallurgical plants do not have the capabilities to recover lithium and therefore it essentially treated as a waste and has no value. Hydrometallurgical plants have the capabilities to recover the lithium component and therefore black mass sellers charge for its content. While much of the scrap and end of life batteries in the European market will be high-nickel cathodes much of the investments are focused on the hydrometallurgy methods, so the value of recovering the lithium could be exponential for recyclers. Amid a looming global deficit for critical raw materials like lithium, cobalt, nickel and copper, the expansion of the black mass market is set to accelerate as battery manufactures seek to strengthening their critical minerals supply and reducing the carbon footprint of their supply chains.
Recycling in focus: Navigating plastics and metals circularity in 2023
The focus on price transparency in circular economy-based commodity products has been growing sharply in recent years, due to the stronger influence of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, along with national and transnational legislation to promote the circular economy and reduce carbon emissions. The growing importance of price transparency can be seen from well-developed commodity supply chains, such as steel and scrap markets, to more nascent ones in the recycled plastics market, both of which we will explore in this special report. LAUNCH REPORT
If you build it, they will come: EV momentum ‘not going away’
Momentum for electric vehicles is on the rise as policy, industry investment and market perspectives are aligning for a potential EV revolution. But challenges also remain plentiful. Darcy Bisset , a partner at Hogan Lovells specializing in renewable energy and energy transition transactions, joined the podcast to discuss what’s needed to meet ambitious policy goals for EV adoption. She touched on the regulatory uncertainty facing the EV industry as well as her expectations for a very bright future once certain hurdles are cleared. She also shared why she thinks this bright future for EVs does not mean dark days ahead for the oil sector. Stick around after the interview for Jeff Mower with the Market Minute, a look at near-term oil market drivers. Related content: EV adoption to grow rapidly as used vehicles come to lower-income communities Senate votes to lift US solar tariff pause despite Biden veto pledge (premium content) 'Strongest-ever' emissions rules could boost EVs to two-thirds of new US car sales California sets sights on zero-emission vehicle future to chagrin of oil, biofuel groups More listening options: No content (including ratings, credit-related analyses and data, valuations, model, software or other application or output therefrom) or any part thereof (Content) may be modified, reverse engineered, reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC or its affiliates (collectively, S&P).
Singapore Coking Coal Conference 2023
May 25 - 26, 2023 | Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Riding the rollercoaster of coking coal markets With the coking coal market undergoing a dramatic change this past year, 2023 has become of special interest. As China revives Australian imports, lingering tightness in spot supply, swaying of energy prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war, many of trade questions remain unanswered. Adding to the complexity are the growing demands for a sustainable future with viable alternatives falling behind. Discover all this and much more on how the coking coal industry is building its roadmap towards a more sustainable future on May 25 – 26 at the S&P Global Commodity Insights Singapore Coking Coal Conference. REGISTER NOW MORE INFO
TRADE REVIEW: Q2 alumina balance hinges on supply disruption risks, lackluster aluminum demand
This report is part of the S&P Global Commodity Insights' Metals Trade Review series, where we dig through datasets and digest some of the key trends in iron ore, metallurgical coal, copper , alumina, cobalt , lithium , and steel and scrap. We also explore what the next few months could bring, from supply and demand shifts to new arbitrages, and to quality spread fluctuations. Supply disruption risks and lackluster downstream aluminum demand are expected to circumscribe global alumina price moves in the second quarter of 2023, following gains in the first quarter on the back of output curtailments and stockpiling activity. The first quarter saw supply interruptions in the Pacific and Atlantic basins in the form of a force majeure involving the Kwinana Alumina Refinery in Western Australia and a belt system failure at Brazil's Alumar refinery. European aluminum smelting capacity that was curtailed in 2022 due to high energy costs has been largely offline, while aluminum output in China has risen along with domestic alumina production. New alumina refining capacity in China and a closed arbitrage window also kept spot Chinese import demand at bay in the first quarter. Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed benchmark Australian alumina at $355/mt FOB on April 14, up from $330/mt FOB at the start of the year but down from a year-to-date high of $371/mt FOB in mid-February. Market split on impact of supply cuts, cost pressures The market has been split on the impact of costs pressures and lower output at some Australian alumina producers. Higher energy prices and raw material costs, such as caustic soda and bauxite prices, have been among some of the key factors driving operating costs for Australian alumina producers. While Australia's Worsley Alumina achieved record production in the 2022 financial year, output at other Australian alumina producers fell during the period. "Considering these factors, the market would be tighter compared to 2022, and there would be an increase in support for prices moving forward," an Asia-Pacific producer said. "The prior ex-Russia supply glut due to the Australian export ban to Russia had already been priced in by the market at current levels below $400/mt FOB Australia." Worsley Alumina's production exceeded its 4.6 million mt/year nameplate capacity in FY 2022. South32, which operates the refinery, expects to sustain output levels in FY 2023. Queensland Alumina and the Yarwun refinery on East Coast Australia produced a total of 6.374 million mt in FY 2022, down from 6.798 million mt in FY 2021. Alumina production at the Pinjarra, Wagerup and Kwinana refineries owned by Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals stood at 8.991 million mt in FY 2022, declining from 9.577 million mt the year before. Alumina Limited, which owns 40% of AWAC, expects its output to decrease in FY 2023 because of a lower bauxite grade, gas supply disruptions, and refinery maintenance. But as caustic soda and bauxite prices have fallen thus far in 2023 from a 2022 peak, a Western consumer said Australian alumina prices could see further downside from current levels. "The continuously rising alumina refining capacity in China would also continue to pressure prices there, and a proper stabilization would be where the Chinese import arbitrage window closes," the consumer said. Rally in Chinese domestic prices loses steam Chinese domestic alumina prices rallied in Q4 2022 and early-2023 on the back of winter stockpiling and refinery cuts in the wake of environmental audits and bauxite supply inconsistencies. However, further smelter curtailments and new refining capacity have capped price gains this year and started reversing the uptrend in the second quarter. Domestic prices in China were mostly in a deadlock through the first quarter despite smelter curbs in the country's south and rising refinery operating rates in the north. Chinese market participants expect market fundamentals to pressure prices going forward in 2023. New refining capacity coming online and wavering offer levels have pressured domestic alumina prices in China, while downstream demand from aluminum smelters has been sluggish on the back of prior smelter curtailments. "There are more producers seen lowering offers now as compared to the first quarter when prospective sellers were mostly traders. [That] could indicate a less optimistic outlook in the near term," a Chinese trader said. A growing gap between northern and southern Chinese alumina prices could boost market interest in transporting alumina from Guangxi and Guizhou in the south to northern and western regions, such as Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, and Shandong, further pressuring prices in the north. Atlantic differential to Australia and freight disconnect The Brazilian alumina differential to Australian material, commonly known as the Atlantic differential, mostly fluctuated at a premium in the $20-$30/mt range in the first quarter of 2023, even as freight costs fell after pandemic restrictions eased. A narrowing freight differential between the Atlantic and Pacific basins and smelter curtailments have capped the Brazilian alumina premium to Australian material, while surprise refinery cuts in Brazil have kept its decline in check. Platts assessed FOB Brazil alumina at a $25/mt premium to FOB Australia on April 13. S&P Global reported earlier that the freight differential between the Atlantic and Pacific could become less meaningful when considering the Atlantic differential as time risk and carrying costs between the two basins could become more prominent. "I think that many people are still looking to derisk by securing cargoes way in advance as demand will creep back with smelter restarts if energy prices don't spike again, as well as due to the ongoing Kwinana curtailment in Australia," a producer based in the Atlantic said, referring to several spot deals for cargoes loading further out. A European consumer said power prices may have eased in Europe due to falling demand, but that trend could reverse if energy-intensive industries restarted curtailed operations in current circumstances. "I don't think there will be any significant smelter restarts this year because energy prices remain elevated," the consumer said. "Although [European smelters] managed to avoid the worst last winter, power prices are certainly by no means at decent levels for most of them." In January, French primary aluminum producer Aluminium Dunkerque restarted some of the pots at its Dunkirk smelter that were idled in September. "But [Dunkerque] did not cut as much output in the first place compared to San Ciprian or Slovalco," the consumer said, indicating that curtailed smelting activity in Europe may take some time to come back. #TradeReview : Q2 #alumina balance hinges on supply disruption risks, lackluster #aluminum demand 🔸Tightness in Atlantic Basin supports Brazilian premium 🔸New refining capacity to pressure #Chinese alumina 📰Here's the latest @SPGCIMetals trade review: https://t.co/10xGjPhc3O pic.twitter.com/ObqAPvPPqD — S&P Global Commodity Insights Metals (@SPGCIMetals) April 18, 2023
Decarbonising Coking Coal Sector: What Needs to be Done
Being one of the leading raw materials for steel manufacturing, the coking coal sector faces a new set of challenges today. With efforts to decarbonise the steel industry keeping in line towards achieving net-zero, learn what lies ahead for the coking coal sector in terms of magnifying its efforts to be carbon neutral. Discover more as Julien hall of Climate Impact X shares his view on the importance of voluntary carbon markets and the role it can play in the steel industry towards helping achieve decarbonisation; in conversation with Rituparna Nath of S&P Global Comodity Insights. For more insights into the coking coal industry, register for the Singapore Coking Conference 2023 to be held on May 25-26. REGISTER NOW
Market Movers Americas, April 3-7: Gas infrastructure undergoes maintenance, power markets welcome new members
In this week’s Market Movers Americas, presented by Katharine de Senne: • Pipeline maintenance to weigh on Permian Basin gas prices • Seasonal maintenance may limit upside to LNG feedgas demand • Western power operators' imbalance markets add members • Steel scrap price in focus for buy week
Pricing impact of China's resumption of Australian coking coal imports
The volatility of coking coal prices have lingered on for a while, and while China's unofficial ban on the import of coking coal from Australia no longer remains in effect, the variation in prices still persists. Discover what factors impact the prices of coking coal as China resumes import from Australia with Paul Bartholomew, Metals Analyst and Hector Foster, Marketing Lead - Steel & Raw Materials of S&P Global Commodity Insights shedding light on the same.
Platts Metals Pricing Benchmarks: Copper Concentrate Methodology Explained (Chinese Session)
Utilize our Platts Metal Pricing benchmarks to gain a constant source of clarity in a world that is ever-changing. Enroll in our copper-meth methodology session in Chinese to learn about the different pricing methodologies involved. KNOW MORE
Back in action: European mills restart idled blast furnaces on higher flat steel prices
Domestic coil prices rapidly rose in March 2022 due to panic buying triggered by Russia's attack on Ukraine on February 24. The market originally anticipated that the geopolitical tension would cut availability of steel and might result in shortage. Against this expectation, steel demand suffered while supply remained on normal levels, despite a disruption of Black Sea supply and effects from sanctions. As a result, domestic coil prices in Europe had started to decline, with the negative trend lingering until December. Coil producers across Europe reduced production rates in the second half of 2022, with some idling blast furnaces in an attempt to balance lower demand and supply and, consequently, prevent the decline of flat steel prices. As operations at blast furnaces declined, iron ore markets suffered, especially the demand for pellets, while sinter and lump were incentivized in some cases due to lower comparative costs. By December, European distributors have depleted the massive stocks accumulated in H1 2022. Restocking activities, combined with the effects from production cuts, rising import prices and high energy costs drove prices up. Some of these idled blast furnaces have come back to life since the start of 2023, with European distributors restocking since December, and as European steelmakers respond to some improvement in demand and prices. After finishing restocking in January, buyers have expressed concerns that higher prices might not be sustainable. This was due to stable end-user demand while availability of hot-rolled coil increased as a number of blast furnaces resumed operation. Steelmakers, however, insist that they have good order books and demand remains solid to allow further price rise. In addition, import material availability had been limited, with HRC from Asia having long lead times and relatively high prices and exports from Turkey disrupted by the February earthquakes. S&P Global Commodity Insights takes a look at the furnaces returned into operation in 2023, upcoming stoppages and anticipated changes in the European steel coil market. Northwest Europe Northwest Europe Germany ArcelorMittal Bremen did not idle one of its two blast furnaces despite the original plans announced in September 2022. The steelmaker, however, had kept production at reduced rates and increased it when demand started to recover. "Production levels are back to normal," an ArcelorMittal Germany spokesperson said. Meanwhile, a direct-reduced iron plant at ArcelorMittal Hamburg, Germany, remained idled "due to overall economic situation", the spokesperson said. ArcelorMittal plans to resume production at the facility this year. Another German flat steel producer, Szlagitter, postponed the restart of its blast furnace C in summer last year. The equipment remained idled in February. Finland SSAB resumed operations of the blast furnace at its Raahe steel plant in January after maintenance. Netherlands Tata Steel in the Netherlands did not idle equipment last year, but the company reduced production rates without stoppage. One of the plant's BFs will be closed for scheduled maintenance in Q2. Although the steelmaker accumulated some slab stocks ahead of the stoppage, production is likely to be reduced, according to market sources. France ArcelorMittal Dunkirk is currently operating two furnaces, while BF No. 2 "was permanently stopped in December as it is end-of-life," ArcelorMittal's spokesperson said. BF No. 3 has been idle since mid-September 2022. ArcelorMittal Fos-sur-Mer, on the other hand, is preparing to restart a 2 million mt/year BF in Aprilthat, which was closed in November 2022. Market sources have expressed concerns that increased output from Fos-sur-Mer might have a negative impact on the South European market adding volumes and, therefore, potentially affecting the price recovery. South Europe Italy Domestic availability of the coil in Italy remained reduced as an integrated producer Acciaierie d'Italia (ADI) had limited production, electric-arc furnace operating mill Arvedi has been focusing on downstream coil trading, and re-rollers have limited volumes to offer. In January, ADI unveiled plans for 2023: to increase crude steel production of 4 million mt in 2023 from below 3 million mt in 2022, according to market participants' estimates; to restart blast furnace No. 2; and to start the relining of blast furnace No. 5 in H2. The plans, however, have yet to result in higher production, according to market sources. Arvedi had been operating on a limited number of days each month starting from Q3 2022, but the production recovered in 2023. Use of EAF allowed the steelmaker to better adjust to shifts in market demand and they increased production rates as soon as market started to recover. Spain ArcelorMittal Gijon restarted BF A at the start of 2023 after it was idled on Sept. 29, 2022. Central Europe Coil supply in Central Europe has been particularly impacted by both planned and unexpected stoppages at local mills and missing import volumes from Russian and Ukraine. Slovakia US Steel Kosice restarted two BFs in January and it has been operating all three of its furnaces since. The steelmaker has higher production costs compared to its peers and its production is unlikely to trigger price drop, according to the estimations of market sources. Romania Liberty Galati will resume pig iron and steel making operations in full when it restarts its only blast furnace in mid-March. The equipment was idled in June 2022. Czech Republic BF No. 2 located at Liberty Ostrava remains idle. The company declined to disclose any information about its possible restart. Market sources, however, said that the blast furnace is expected to resume operation after the company's production resumes in Romania. Poland In January, ArcelorMittal Dabrowa Gornicza resumed production at blast furnace No. 3 that has not been operating since October 2022. The steelmaker currently is preparing to shut its BF No. 2 this quarter for an extended overhaul. Hungary Dunaferr, that went under administration in December, resumed production at blast furnace No. 2 in mid-February. UK's Liberty Steel reportedly secured a deal with the Hungarian state, allowing it to draw a credit line in state-owned EXIM Hungary to manage Dunaferr. Liberty began to pay for raw materials and transportation fees and has already supplied 40,000 mt of coal to the mill. Serbia HBIS Serbia continued to operate one furnace after its blast furnace No. 1, which has a capacity of 900,000 mt/year, was shut in late November. The steelmaker, however, expects to see a production rise soon.
Infographic: What China's 'Two Sessions' mean for 2023 commodity demand
China's National People's Congress has set the stage for the country's post-pandemic economic recovery and long-term roadmap under new leadership. On March 5, retiring Prime Minister Li Keqiang set a conservative 5% GDP growth target for 2023, which is higher than the 3% achieved in 2022, and will help support commodities demand. But it also signals an uphill task for Beijing in sustaining modest growth amid broader economic restructuring, financial risks from the property sector and global uncertainties. Click here to see the full-size infographic
Infographic: Developing economies hit hardest by EU’s carbon border tax
The EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism is set to have far-reaching impacts on world trade and the wider energy transition. Phasing in from 2026, CBAM will levy a carbon tax on imports of selected energy intensive materials and products into the EU, removing the gap between the EU’s ETS carbon price and the export country of origin’s carbon price. Analysis by S&P Global Commodity Insights shows Canada, Brazil, South Africa and Turkey will be most exposed to the mechanism, with iron and steel by far the biggest sector targeted. Click to see the full-size infographic Related Insight Blog entry: CBAM, ETS reform to impact fertilizer trade Related podcast: How will the EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism affect global trade and carbon pricing? More listening options:
INTERVIEW: Steel mills in Turkish earthquake zone may close for a month: TCUD
Turkish steel mills in the regions of the Feb. 6 earthquakes may remain closed for around a month until workforce, logistics and power cut problems are resolved, Turkish Steel Producers' Association (TCUD) General Secretary told S&P Global Commodity Insights Feb. 14. No notable damage was reported at production facilities, Veysel Yayan also said. "Producers in the region have focused on rescue efforts and life support services in recent days, as many workers and their families have been affected by the earthquakes," Yayan said. Iskenderun Demir ve Celik (Isdemir), the country's largest integrated long and flat steelmaker with a liquid capacity of 5.8 million mt, said Feb. 13 it had suspended production until due diligence studies were completed. At least four other steelmakers in the region issued a joint force majeure notice Feb. 12, citing the president's decree introducing a three-month state of emergency in the impacted regions. Large steelmakers in the region produce more than 30% of Turkey's steel, Yayan said, adding that steelmakers in other regions would be able to meet demand in the interim. Turkey has enough production capacity to meet the expected rise in steel demand in coming months as reconstruction begins, with producers set to prioritize domestic demand over exports, Yayan said. "This move will also prevent a sharp rise in steel prices in the country," Yayan said, adding that increases seen in domestic flat steel prices in recent days were in line with global prices. Some trade sources have reported increases of around $40-$50/mt in coated flat steel offer prices in recent days, although long steel prices have remained largely stable amid subdued trade. Platts, part of S&P Global, assessed Turkish imports of premium heavy melting scrap 1/2 (80:20) at $427.50/mt CFR on Feb. 13, and Turkish exported rebar at $700/mt FOB, both unchanged day on day.
INTERVIEW: Liberty Steel advances decarbonization despite challenging market conditions
As the UK steel industry is making faster progress towards decarbonization compared to its European counterparts, Liberty Steel is focusing on its low carbon steel, Greensteel, amid demand across certain markets, a senior official at the steelmaker told S&P Global Commodity Insights. "Greensteel as a commodity has not been fully tested yet but we're already seeing some markets start to embrace it - green buildings, high-end automobiles and so on," Liberty Steel's Chief Transformation Officer Jeffrey Kabel said in an interview. "The pace of change will accelerate and it's our role as producers to sell it and to create the market for Greensteel," Kabel said. The UK was making the right noises to support the industry and its pathway towards decarbonization, he said. For its part, Liberty Steel remained committed to achieving its pledge for net zero carbon emissions across all of its operations by 2030 supported by the recycling of steel scrap while transitioning towards less emission-intensive power sources such as natural gas and hydrogen. "Government has made some welcome policy changes over the past couple of years, and I think they increasingly see steel as a strategic industry," said Kabel. "There's a high degree of political consensus - both parties are on the same page. Even so markets will remain tough and for UK steel producers to compete we will need reform in energy markets and changes in carbon border rules. I do think things are moving forward," he said. Some major UK producers are reportedly about to receive large funding packages from the UK government in order to sustain their business and decarbonize their steelmaking operations, which is likely to include the installation of electric arc furnaces, or EAFs, using steel scrap. One probable outcome of the decarbonization of the UK steel industry was increased demand for high-quality steel scrap, of which the UK is a large-scale exporter. Kabel said there was still a reluctance by the government to halt steel scrap exports, despite the probability of increased demand from steelmakers. He noted, however that there were no issues concerning scrap availability in the UK at this point of time. "The UK generates a lot of scraps and that can be a huge asset for decarbonizing its steel industry.," he said. "That's the beauty of our Rotherham plant – logistically it's in the right place to get scrap to. If the government can do more to facilitate the domestic use of scrap, then that will help speed the transition to EAFs." Specialty steel Despite a weak economic backdrop, Kabel said Liberty continued to see good demand across specialty markets, such as aerospace, energy infrastructure and defense. "We're focusing on specialty steel products as those markets are very strong," he said, adding that aerospace was coming back way faster than anyone thought. "Key customers really value our specialist alloys and components and that's underpinning our plan this year at Stocksbridge. Plate demand is strong too," Kabel said. Meanwhile, Kabel pointed to a challenging period for the business in recent months with surging inflation and heightened volatility across global commodity and shipping markets weighing on profitability within the steel industry. "Since the Ukraine war, there's a greater focus on domestic industrial policy and the baseload capacity to produce in-country," he said.
Infographic: European governments look to end EV subsidy programs after strong 2022
Electric vehicle sales in Europe's largest passenger car markets increased to record highs in 2022, boosted by government incentives, although a number of countries will likely see subsidies for EVs being reduced or eliminated in 2023, which could have some downside risk. The reduction in subsidies comes at a time when battery metal prices are strong, with lithium prices ending 2022 more than double where they were at the start of the year, boosted in part by the increased global EV demand. Click here to see the full-size infographic Learn more: Latest Insight Blog entry: EV sales momentum to face challenges in 2023, but long-term expectations unaffected . And in the latest Platts Future Energy podcast , we uncovered the potential roadblocks facing the EV market in 2023. From lithium prices to government subsidies, learn how these factors may impact EV sales and the battery metals market: