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Chiao: Check prior to shipping non-ferrous scrap to China

Asia – With the import permit renewals procedure having been put on hold by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, BIR non-ferrous metals division president David Chiao is urging exporters to ensure their Chinese customers ‘have the proper import permits available before shipment’.

In the world recycling organisation’s latest ‘World Mirror on Non-Ferrous Metals’, its advisor on Chinese regulatory and policy developments Ma Hongchang points out that revisions by the MEP and AQSIQ mean that four categories and 24 types of solid waste – including scrap plastics (8 types), unsorted waste paper (1 type), scrap textile materials (11 types) and vanadium slag (4 types) – are now listed in the ‘Catalogue of Prohibited Imported Solid Wastes’ instead of the ‘Catalogue of Restricted Solid Wastes’.

Also noted in the Mirror publication, the recycling branch of the China Non-Ferrous Metals Industry Association has indicated that, by the end of 2018, it will be prohibited to ship insulated wire, motors and other bulk scrap metal into China. With China’s scrap imports slowing owing to its National Sword restrictions and reduced import quotas, Chinese scrap processors ‘are seeking new bases’ in other countries in the region, with Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar ‘mentioned repeatedly in this context’.

Meanwhile, foreign scrap suppliers ‘are looking for the next-best market with a low labour cost base into which to sell their scrap’. In other market developments, demand for scrap for Mexican secondary aluminium production has dropped in recent weeks ‘to a point where trade flows have started to reverse and Mexico has begun exporting cast and old sheet scrap’, partly as a result of ‘significant’ scrap imports from the USA.

Following the hurricanes affecting Texas and Florida, expectations in the USA are that a large quantity of metals will probably end up being co-mingled and heading to car shredders in the affected states. ‘This will certainly increase the volume of Zorba produced in the weeks to come,’ it is observed.

In many parts of Europe, meanwhile, the summer months were busier on the buying, selling and shipment side than in normal years owing to rising base metal prices. On the downside, however, there was limited demand owing to consumers’ summer shuts and uncertainty over Chinese imports of certain scrap grades.

This article is based on the latest World Mirror on Non-Ferrous Metals produced by the BIR world recycling organisation for the benefit of its members.

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