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Metal Recycling News February 26, 2018 12:30:32 PM

Scrap Metal Imports Hit Lowest Level in Two Years

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The data published by the Chinese General Administration of Customs indicates that the imports of scrap metal, consisting of scrap copper, steel and aluminum, by the country totaled 490,000 tonnes in January this year.
Scrap Metal Imports Hit Lowest Level in Two Years

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster):  The imports of scrap metals by China dropped to the lowest level in over two years. The imports of other categories of waste also recorded substantial decline during the opening month of 2018. The huge fall in import quantity is on account of the stricter rules on solid waste imports implemented by the Chinese administration which has come into force starting Jan 1, 2018.

The data published by the Chinese General Administration of Customs indicates that the imports of scrap metal, consisting of scrap copper, steel and aluminum, by the country totaled 490,000 tonnes in January this year. This is down by nearly 30% when compared with the imports during December last year. The Chinese scrap metal imports had totaled 700,000 tonnes in December 2016. The imports were down when matched with 660,000 tonnes imported during January last year. The copper scrap imports have dropped sharply by nearly 28% from 278,000 tonnes a year before to almost 200,000 tonnes this January.

The customs data also indicates considerable decline in imports of all other major categories of solid waste including waste paper and plastics. The overall imports including all these waste categories totaled 1.74 million tonnes, falling considerably by more than 50% over the previous year. The imports of waste plastics tumbled by nearly 95% from 18,000 tonnes in December 2016 to just above 10,000 tonnes in Jan ’18. Also, waste paper imports were down year-on-year by 45% from 2.24 million tonnes to 1.24 million tonnes.

ALSO READ: Looming Chinese Import Ban Creates U.S. Recycling Bottleneck

The Chinese Ministry of Environmental protection (MEP) had prohibited imports of several categories of waste including unsorted scrap paper, post consumer plastic scrap, used textile scrap and metal slag. Further, the MEP had toughened the regulations, stating that companies with processing capacity below 50,000 tonnes will not be eligible to apply for import licenses. Incidentally, Beijing has drastically cut its quotas for scrap metal imports in the first four batches of solid waste quotas issued so far this year.

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