Italian Steel Dilemma: National Scrap Quandary Unveiled

Simona Bordolari
Simona BordolariImage Source: il Dolomiti


Italian parliament member Simona Bordolari recently raised concerns with the Minister for Business about a potential "national scrap crisis." Highlighting scrap's crucial role in the steel industry, Bordolari emphasized the risk of supply issues for Italian steelmakers if exports to non-EU countries continue. However, data shows that only 3.2% of ferrous scrap used by Italian steel enterprises in 2022 was imported from non-EU countries. Assofermet, representing Italian scrap distributors, refutes claims, attributing the steel crisis to declining demand, rising production costs, and a negative economic outlook.


Simona Bordolari, a member of the Italian parliament, has recently ignited discussions about a potential "national scrap crisis" during questioning of Italian Minister for Business Adolfo Urso. Bordolari, concerned about the critical role of scrap in the steel industry, expressed worries that exporting it to non-EU countries could lead to supply issues for Italian steelmakers.

Contrary to these concerns, recent data reveals that only 3.2% of the ferrous scrap used by steel enterprises in Italy during 2022 (607,000 metric tons) was imported from non-EU countries. A significant portion, approximately 12.5 million metric tons, originated within Italy, and an additional 4.5 million metric tons came from other EU countries. Notably, in 2022, the EU exported about 17.7 million metric tons of scrap to non-EU countries due to surplus production in the region.

Italy stands 22nd in the global scrap exporting countries, with only 317,000 metric tons exported from January to August this year and a total of 516,000 metric tons exported in 2022. This is a modest increase from the 387,000 metric tons exported in 2021. The low contribution of scrap exports to the crisis is evident, given these figures.

In response to these concerns, Assofermet, the association representing Italian scrap distributors, issued a press release on December 4. The association firmly stated that scrap exports cannot be blamed for triggering a crisis in the Italian steel sector, nor can they be the cause of a supply shortage for steelmakers. Assofermet identified the true causes of the crisis as a decline in steel demand, rising production costs, and an unfavorable economic outlook.


The apprehensions of a "national scrap crisis" voiced by Simona Bordolari face scrutiny as data reveals that Italy's scrap exports and imports play a minimal role in the current steel sector challenges. Assofermet's response emphasizes the multifaceted nature of the crisis, pointing to declining demand, increasing production costs, and an overall negative economic forecast as the primary contributors. The focus must shift towards addressing these core issues for a sustainable recovery.

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