Metals News
China's ban on 16 scrap metals, chemical waste likely to have little impact on zinc market
industry news

SHANGHAI, Apr 19 (SMM) – China will ban imports of 16 more scrap metal and chemical waste products from December 31, 2018, according to release by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) on Wednesday April 19. This includes Category Seven copper scrap materials, such as waste electric motors, that account for two-thirds of China's imports of copper scrap. 

While the ban could limit the supply of copper scrap, SMM believes it will have limited impact on China's zinc market. Processors of secondary aluminium will also be less affected as zinc smelters mostly use primary ore instead of scrap as raw materials, and that previous restrictions during the last two years had already cut large amounts zinc and aluminium scrap.

The market for stainless steel market will also see little impact as scrap materials have not been imported after restrictions were implemented in 2017.

MEE also banned imports of another 16 items of solid waste, effective December 31, 2019. This includes timbre waste and scrap metals such as stainless steel, tungsten and magnesium, SMM learned.

Since the 1980s, China began importing solid waste as a source of raw materials. It has grow to become the world's largest importer of recyclable materials. 

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