Turning Europe’s raw material production and consumption sustainable and digital is the next big step for the industry. Metalshub has partnered up with the European Raw Material Alliance (ERMA) to help shape the future of the European raw materials industry.
Cars, houses, solar panels, and even space rockets.
Many industries depend on metal and ferroalloys raw materials, and a long list of those are prevalent in European countries. Here, industries such as construction, chemicals, automotive, machinery and equipment, are just some of the sectors that play vital roles in the countries’ economies.
However, the majority of the EU countries need to import these products from outside the union as the ore is mined abroad.
European Countries yearly imports vs. exports of raw materials
In the chart above, you can see the annual import and exports in raw materials by the 27 EU member states in billion Euro. Source: Eurostat.
Last year, the 27 EU countries imported raw materials for a total sum of 80.6 billion euros. That is 26 billion euros more than the worth of their raw material export the same year. In effect, making the European countries dependent on the trade and supply of third countries. This isn’t a new occurrence – this is an established market condition that EU steel producers have had to coexist with for some time.
Goal: A sustainable and digital European industry
With the EU’s green deal and technological aims, the European demand for certain raw materials stands to increase drastically over the coming decades.
Lithium is one of the raw materials that is expected to experience an increase in demand – it stands to be used around 55 times more in 2050 compared to today. You can see some of the other common raw materials that are expected to rise in demand in the below chart.
Additional expected raw material use in 2050 in the EU
The graph shows the amount of additional raw material expected to be used in 2050 for batteries, fuel cells, wind turbines, and photovoltaics in the EU. Compared to the current EU consumption of all material in all applications. Source: Raw Materials Factsheet.
Due to the additional raw material use in the years to come, the EU launched its Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials in September this year.
In the same breath, the EU also created The European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) under the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.
The ERMA is an alliance, where industry stakeholders along the value chain such as NGOs, member states, trade unions, financial investors, technology, and research organisations collaborate together for the betterment of the industry. This was the perfect fit for Metalshub due to the holistic vision and functionalities provided by the platform.
The centric goal of the ERMA is to create a more resilient and greener Europe.
Let’s have a look at some of the crucial points the alliance will work towards:
- Securing access to critical and sustainable raw and advanced materials in the European ecosystem.
- Find, create, and invest in opportunities for Europe’s industrial ecosystem.
- Increase the raw materials recycling capacity.
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology now brings together the largest consortium in the raw materials sector worldwide with the ERMA.
Metalshub and the future of raw materials
Price competitiveness is not the only competitive advantage that consumers, traders and producers can leverage in the industry – using digital technologies can truly help to increase sustainability levels as well as increase efficiency both in short term spot buying as well as long-term contracts. Ensuring that these parameters are translated into the raw materials supply chain may be one of the ways to ensure a stable supply.
The ERMA partners work together to find these new and innovative solutions to secure business cooperation with the supplies of these raw materials. They also collaborate on how to turn Europe’s raw materials industry green and digital at the same time.
Helping the industry become more digital is where Metalshub has its forte. Based in Germany, Metalshub is invested in helping the European steel industry to turn towards a greener and more digital future.
Being an online trading platform for metals and ferroalloys, Metalshub has a unique insight into the challenges the industry is currently facing to become more digital. Insights that the company can develop into actionable solutions that can be built on together with the other partners in the ERMA. These innovative collaborations will help to develop solutions that remain salient to market needs and keep up with European raw materials industry, via the use of flexible digital technologies.