SHANGHAI, Apr 19 (SMM) – Chinese producers will be restricted from importing Category Six copper scrap on July 1 as the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) recategorised the materials from a non-limited import category into restricted imports that can be used as raw materials, said a speaker at the China Recycled Copper Industry Chain Summit on Friday April 19.
Details of the policy were covered at the summit, which was held by the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association in Ningbo of Zhejiang province.
Licences granted by the China Solid Waste and Chemical Management Centre under MEE will be needed for the import of Category Six copper scrap, and only plants that engage in copper scrap smelting and processing are allowed to file an application. Requests could be rejected for small producers with facilities and equipment below national environmental standards, and this is expected to further tighten the domestic supply of copper scrap.
Imports of copper scrap around July will be affected as the Solid Waste and Chemical Management Centre only starts to accept applications on July 1. This is expected to impact the production of secondary copper smelters if they fail to obtain alternate raw materials.
SMM assessed that the restriction will affect at least 30,000 mt of secondary copper production in July, as some 70% of an estimated 100,000 mt/month output of secondary copper depends on seaborne copper scrap.
It was also reiterated in the meeting that imports of solid waste, including Category Six copper scrap, will be cut to zero by 2020.
As environmental authorities are mulling the recategorising of some Category Six materials as renewable resources to allow those imports amid the ban on solid waste imports, an official notice is expected to be launched by the end of the year, according to speakers at the summit.