Several things are having a major impact on the supply and demand of metals this year. Notably the Russian invasion of Ukraine; as both countries are top exporters of various metals, the war has led to supply shortages worldwide. Pig iron supply shortages have had a knock-on effect on the price of steel around the world and the aerospace industry is dealing with a titanium supply shortage, also exacerbated by the war.
Likewise, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a lasting impact on steel supply. It was expected that steel demand would drop after prices hit record highs and the market began to recover but no one could have predicted how seriously supply chain issues and the ongoing conflict would impact the global metal economy.
There’s also the growing demand on metals to meet the global energy transition away from fossil fuels. Particularly the demand on metals, such as nickel, lithium and copper, for batteries used to power electric vehicles. The Russian invasion also plays a role here, as European governments move to reduce their dependence on Russian energy, they need to find a major switch to other sources like renewable energy– and this means we need more metal to produce solar panels and wind turbines.
The skyrocketing energy costs also feed back into the metal production industry with producers also feeling the pinch of booming prices. This has caused European metal stockpiles to shrink considerably. Shortages are a serious concern for manufacturers who worry that supply will not allow them to meet growing demands. The cost of metals has been soaring, and experts are predicting that demand of battery metals such as lithium will outstrip supply very soon. This has made the need for widespread metal recycling more important than ever.
Scrap yards like ours in Openshaw, Manchester, are the first step in the metal recycling chain. We buy scrap metal which is then melted down to be reused in a variety of industries. Scrap metal recycling plays a key role in our national move towards a circular metals economy and by recycling metal this way, we massively reduce the need to produce brand new metals (which have a far bigger carbon footprint).Back to all blog posts