SHANGHAI, Nov 5 (SMM) – China on Tuesday issued a fresh batch of import quotas for newly restricted high-grade copper scrap, cementing the fact that Beijing is sharply scaling back its openness to foreign wastes.
The China Solid Waste and Chemicals Management Bureau, a unit of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, issued import quotas for another 11,110 mt of the so-called Category Six copper scrap to 21 companies in regions including major metal-recycling hubs such as Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Shandong.
The latest batch of quotas shrank nearly 80% from the previous batch, which was the first batch for the fourth quarter.
China has granted six batches of import quotas of a cumulative total of 552,692 mt for Category Six copper scrap, which saw the import restrictions going into effect on July 1.
The latest two batches totalled 68,475 mt, accounting for only 14% of the combined total of 484,217 mt of the initial four batches which were mostly issued for the third quarter.
SMM expects copper scrap import quotas for Q4 to amount to 82,316 mt, or 17% of the amount for Q3. Quotas for the whole second half of 2019 are expected to reach 567,000 mt, containing about 453,000 mt of copper.
This will decrease some 270,000 mt in Cu content from the realised import volume of 723,000 mt in Cu content in the second half of 2018.
China’s imports of copper scrap in 2019 is expected to drop 160,000 mt in Cu content from 2018, with the import rush leading to a year-over-year increase of 110,000 mt in Cu content in the first half of the year.