China issued the first batch of scrap import quotas for the first quarter 2020, allowing 275,465mt of aluminium scrap imports and 270,885mt of copper scrap imports into the country. The scrap import quotas were announced by China’s solid waste and chemical management bureau on December 23.
China has faced a shortage of secondary non-ferrous raw material from July 1 as the country restricted the import of scrap and started issuing scrap import quotas. Producers were forced to replace aluminium and copper scrap imports with ingot imports causing major shifts in global market dynamics. China imported 330,567mt of aluminium scrap and 333,575mt of copper scrap in the first quarter of 2019. Import volumes are in line with the approved quotas for the first three months of 2020 providing respite to Chinese producers.
Most of the copper companies permitted to import copper scrap in the first quarter of 2020 are located in the recycling hubs of Zhejiang and Guangdong in the east and southern China.
China had approved 372,476mt of aluminium scrap and 452,559mt of copper scrap imports from July-Sept and 101,489mt of aluminium scrap and 108,103mt of copper scrap imports from Oct-Dec this year.