China has issued import quotas for 222,020mt of copper scrap and 191,100mt of aluminium scrap in the first batch of quotas for Q2, 2020 and the fifth batch since the beginning of the year.
The country is, however, expected to face a supply disruption as many yards and ports in exporting countries are currently shutdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. China’s demand for raw materials has increased after it resumed operations post the virus outbreak. Demand for finished products, however, is relatively low owing to weak demand from the auto industry. Additionally, China is facing a glut of copper and aluminium driving smelters to cut production capacity.
Further, Chinese non-ferrous scrap importers also have balance quotas remaining from Jan-Feb when they were unable to import due to shutdowns. In Jan-Feb, China issued import quotas for 302,071mt copper scrap and 284,449mt aluminium scrap. China, however, imported only 119,520mt of copper scrap and 122,204mt of aluminium scrap during this period, accounting for 40pc and 43pc of the allotted quota, respectively. Hence, it is yet to see whether China will face a supply shortage of raw material in the upcoming months.
The total import quotas issued in 2020 now stand at 527,611mt for copper scrap and 475,649mt for aluminium scrap.