Monday, 1st march 2021 | Circular economy
Marco Arezio - Consulente materie plastiche - The Situation of Metal Waste in the Chinese Market in 2021

The upward trend in the prices of raw materials to be recycled also finds full compliance in the field of ferrous and non-ferrous waste.

China had foreseen strict import restrictions on raw materials to be recycled in 2018-2020, and then became more elastic due to the growing demand for waste to be processed from the domestic market as Brayan Tailor tells us.

The People's Republic of China produces more steel, aluminum and copper than any other nation on Earth, so if the percentage of scrap consumption should increase in 2021, ripple effects are likely to occur.

An online presentation in late February by Ian Roper and Joyce Li of Shanghai Metals Market (SMM) addressed the evolution of the basic scrap metal market in China , along with other trends affecting the production and use of steel, stainless steel, aluminum and copper in the country.

Over the past two years, the Chinese government had imposed import barriers, including on ferrous and non-ferrous scrap, as well as other recycled materials, with the hypothesis of an absolute import ban for all types of scrap on 1 January this year.

Li noted that China is far from self-sufficient in copper, with its "self-sufficiency rate" falling from 40% in 2010 to 22% in 2019. Restrictions on imported scrap in 2019 and 2020 therefore led to an increase in copper cathode and aluminum ingot imports in 2020.

Although scrap import volumes rebounded in November and December across the board, Roper noted that imports to China dropped by around 300,000 tons in 2020 .

It also stated that SMM expects an increase in general scrap imports in 2021, although prices could rise significantly globally.

In the ferrous metals market, Chinese steelmakers appear to be moving towards electric arc furnaces (EAFs) and other technologies designed to reduce emissions and consume more scrap.

Although Chinese producers will import around 1 million tons of scrap in 2021, Roper said this is a quantity that will impact price levels. raw material, in a region where factories in neighboring countries, such as Vietnam, are bidding on the same product.

Automatic translation. We apologize for any inaccuracies. Original article in Italian.

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