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Chinese quotas for waste & scrap imports:  9th batch 2020

 According to the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) report July 9th, China’s Solid Waste & Chemicals Management Centre has published details of its ninth batch of scrap import quotas for 2020. The quotas allow for considerably higher import quantities than in recent months, following a policy change.

This ninth batch allows 176,746 tonnes of copper scrap, 209,660 tonnes of aluminum scrap, 4,990 tonnes of steel scrap and 1,115,426 tonnes of paper scrap to enter China.

China’s new “recycled material” reclassification came into force July 1, allowing scrap metal to be imported as “recycled material” rather than under the more restricted “waste” category. As expected by scrap metals traders, this appears to favour higher imports of some materials and is a liberalization of some import standards. Traders had said in a BIR webinar last month that the new classification was expected to “significantly benefit scrap trading” particularly as concerns import levels of brass, copper and cast aluminium alloys into China.

Announcement of the new batch of import quotas follows reports of shortages of scrap in China and elsewhere, particularly copper scrap, on a demand upturn as industrial activity increases after curbs related to the coronavirus pandemic are lifted. Scrap arisings had been curtailed by lower industrial activity at the height of the pandemic.

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