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CMRA expects 50% dip in China’s copper scrap imports 

China’s copper scrap imports are expected to drop by half in 2020 compared to the previous year, the China Non-Ferrous Metals Industry Association (CMRA) announced today.

China imported a total of 1.49 million tonnes of copper scrap in 2019, Wang Jiwei, deputy president of CMRA, stated at the China International Copper Forum.

The country has granted import quotas for 743 140 tonnes of copper scrap so far this year.China is aiming for a blanket ban on solid waste imports by end-2020. Though high-grade copper and aluminium scrap meeting new standards will still be allowed.

Wang observes that shipping lines have been reluctant to ship soon-to-be-banned material to China, raising the prospect of an imminent supply shortage.‘But it can be overcome,’ Wang told Reuters. ‘There are still some companies doing the shipping, especially Chinese domestic companies – and we hope they continue to do so.’

The CMRA initially decided to give overseas suppliers and domestic buyers 20 working days to apply for certification. Doing so would grant qualified companies priority for pre-shipment inspection and easier customs clearance in China. Recently, the deadline was extended to 31 December. 

So far, some 150 companies have applied to become suppliers or importers of the scrap.

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