SHANGHAI, Jul 17 (SMM) – China’s imports of aluminium scrap came in at 177,200 mt in May, up 57.8% from May 2018 and 15.81% from April, showed data from China Customs.
Imports via processing trade gained 23.5% month on month and 37% year on year to stand at 63,000 mt, while imports through general trade expanded 11.8% from a month earlier and 72.7% from a year earlier to 114,000 mt.
Imports of Category Six materials will be restricted from July, which means that importers cannot move such cargoes into China unless they receive approval from authorities.
This prompted an import rush after April, greater import volumes.
The growth from a year ago was significant as volumes in May 2018 were low after China imposed a levy of 25% on US aluminium scrap in April 2018. American aluminium scrap accounted for about 30% of China’s total imports.
Imports of aluminium scrap are expected to remain barely changed in June as the July deadline was just around the corner and shipments faced higher risks of restrictions at Chinese ports.
The latest two batches of import quotas largely unchanged from imported volumes in the third quarter of 2018, pointing to limited impact on supply. This deterred prices of imported aluminium scrap from extending their declines. Prices of imported aluminium scrap held stable at $1,100-1,150/mt.