SHANGHAI, Jun 15 (SMM) – China’s copper scrap imports are expected to decrease between end-July and early August in view of continued declines in supply from Europe and the US as COVID-19 and civil unrest took their toll.
With coronavirus lockdown measures slowing economic activity, copper scrap production in European and the US has decreased and some of the high-grade cargoes were used by domestic users. An importer told SMM that copper scrap shipments from Europe and the US fell 15-20% in June compared to the same period last year.
The current copper scrap supply from dismantling yards in Malaysia is sufficient to sustain over one month of production. China’s copper scrap imports from Malaysia accounted for 16.7% in April.
The decline in China’s copper scrap imports will happen even if the reclassification of high-grade copper and brass scrap comes into force in July as scheduled, which allows the import of material meeting the standards without restrictions. Details for the new standards such as the HS code have yet to be issued with just half of a month to go before July.
The import quota scheme, which will remain in place in the second half of the year, will prevent China’s imports of copper scrap from falling off the cliff next month, though the quotas will decline before imports of solid wastes are completely banned by the end of this year.
China promulgated GB/T 38470-2019 (recycled brass raw material), GB/T 38471-2019 (recycled copper raw material) and GB/T 38472-2019 (recycled cast aluminium alloy raw material) in January 2020 to reclassify high-grade copper and aluminium scrap.