Loading price data...
Scrap Monster
Olympus-ims.com
Vulcan
Spectro
Metal Recycling News January 11, 2018 05:30:47 AM

Scrap Metal Companies Look to Process Copper Abroad, Following Chinese Restrictions

Waste Advantage
ScrapMonster Contributor
China relies on imports for around half of its scrap copper needs but told the World Trade Organization last year that it would stop accepting certain types of foreign solid waste, including metals, from 2018 if they did not meet stricter impurity thresholds.
Scrap Metal Companies Look to Process Copper Abroad, Following Chinese Restrictions

SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): As China tightens restrictions on imports of foreign waste, Chinese metal recyclers and even smelters like Jiangxi Copper Co are increasingly looking to use Southeast Asian countries as an alternative location for the processing of copper scrap.

China relies on imports for around half of its scrap copper needs but told the World Trade Organization last year that it would stop accepting certain types of foreign solid waste, including metals, from 2018 if they did not meet stricter impurity thresholds. 

Analysts say this cuts off a key source of supply for the world’s largest copper consumer and boosts refined copper makers, which are likely to see an increase in demand. 

Shanghai copper futures were roiled last year by China’s moves to ban imports of Category 7 scrap – such as coiled copper cable and waste motors – from 2019, with import quotas already starting to dry up. 

And, in a more immediate development, traders in China now find themselves unable to import scrap copper if they cannot show they are scrap end-users. 

Manson Zeng, an entrepreneur based in China’s bustling southern Guangdong province, decided to set up a trading platform for waste recyclers after realizing the policy changes would spell the end for his own waste import business.

He estimated that several hundred of the platform’s members had gone to Southeast Asian countries to develop their businesses or were preparing moves.

In the case of copper, the idea is to perform dismantling work overseas on Category 7 scrap procured from countries like the United States and convert it into higher-grade material that would not be subject to China’s new import restrictions. 

Elton Xu, the foreign trade department manager at Zili Copper Industry Co, a recycler of scrap copper in Hangzhou, said his company has started building a new processing factory in Thailand because of the policy changes. 

Having visited several potential sites in Southeast Asia, Zili decided to set up shop in an industrial park in Rayong on the Gulf of Thailand. 

The project, due to start up by the end of 2018, “will produce 50,000 tonnes per year of copper blister from 200,000 tonnes of hazardous waste and other complex materials,” Xu said, adding that this would help Zili increase its annual output of copper cathode – used to make copper rods and wire – of 150,000 tonnes. Copper blister is partly purified copper.

Courtesy: https://wasteadvantagemag.com

SM Newsletter
Subscribe to SM mailing list and get updates to your inbox