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Growth in Chinese secondary non-ferrous production plummets

China – China expects to increase its output of secondary non-ferrous metals by just 3% this year, a sharp slowdown from the 20% average annual growth the country achieved between 2000 and 2010.

Almost 5.9 million tonnes was produced in the nine months to September, the 11th Recycled Metals International Conference was told, leading to a full-year forecast of 8m tonnes.

‘A widely fluctuating international price and the continued domestic policy of tightening regulation are to blame for the decrease and the harsh business environment for non-ferrous enterprises,’ said Wang Jiwei, Chairman of the recycling arm of the China Nonferrous Metals Association.

Mr Wang added that recent falls in the international copper price and growing raw material prices, coupled with a suspension of VAT rebates dating back to the start of this year, had put many metals recyclers into the red in the last two months.

The non-ferrous industry in China believes it still has scope to increase its recycling rate, in line with the national drive to cut energy consumption and reduce emissions. In the first three quarters of 2011, the efforts of non-ferrous recyclers equated to a saving of 129.8m tonnes of coal and nearly 1.1bn cubic metres of water, the conference heard.

China has relatively low resources of non-ferrous metals, and secondary material accounts for only 20 to 30% of total consumption.

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