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Metal Recycling News May 22, 2020 11:30:02 AM

Copper Scrap Export Markets Underwent Major Shift

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The reduced imports by China are attributed to heightened purity levels prescribed for imports.

Copper Scrap Export Markets Underwent Major Shift

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The webinar ‘Spotlight on Copper’ on May 20th, organized by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), analyzed the global market conditions for copper scrap.  

The webinar noted that the export markets for copper scrap have undergone major shift over the past five years. Earlier in 2015, China had accounted for almost 69% of all copper and copper alloy scrap exports from the U.S. It must be noted that China’s share has dropped to meagre 8% in the first quarter of 2020. Several countries including Malaysia, Canada, South Korea and Canada accounted for larger share of exports than China.

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The reduced imports by China are attributed to heightened purity levels prescribed for imports. As per sources, the import restrictions have resulted in record high purity rate of nearly 90%.

According to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), copper scrap prices recorded 3.1% decline in April this year, when compared with March. Also, the prices registered month-on-month declines by 7.8% and 5.2% in March and February respectively. The year-to-date copper-based scrap prices are down by over 21% when compared with 2019. The London Metal Exchange (LME) data suggests that primary copper prices have dropped by almost 14% when compared with end-2019 levels.

 

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