China further lowered import quotas for copper scrap and aluminium scrap to 3,520mt and 100mt, respectively, as it announced a fourth batch of quotas on March 7.
In its third batch of import quotas for copper scrap and aluminium scrap this quarter, China had allowed 4,620mt and 1,440mt, respectively, .
The total import quotas for the first quarter added up to 305,591mt for copper scrap and 284,549mt for aluminium scrap, including the recent quotas announced on Wednesday.
Chinese authorities permitted 452,559mt of copper scrap and 372,476mt of aluminium scrap into the country in the third batch of quota in the third quarter of 2019, which was the first-time import quotas were implemented.
In the fourth quarter, import quotas fell to 108,103mt for copper scrap and 101,489mt for aluminium scrap.
Only one company received a permit to import aluminium scrap at the time. Wuzhou Haigang Metal was allowed to import 100mt of aluminium scrap at Wuzhou port.
In its third batch of quotas in Q1 2020, China had allowed two companies to import 1,440mt of aluminium scrap, at Taicang and Ningbo ports.
Nine companies received permits to import copper scrap, of which the Qingyuan Honghua Metal Industry could import the largest volume of 1,190mt, landing at Nansha port; followed by Wuzhou Haigang Metal, which could import 970mt of copper scrap at Wuzhou port.
China is to ban the import of scrap metal by the end of 2020.
In January this year, the country announced a list of high-grade copper and aluminium scrap grades that will be reclassified as resources and will be permitted into China without any import restrictions, starting July 2020.
This announcement came as a relief to the Chinese metal recycling industry and scrap exporters to China.