China imported 34,272mt of aluminum scrap in May, down 40pc annually according to the latest data from Chinese Customs.
Notably, this decline was much larger around 70pc on a monthly basis, compared with 112,445mt in April. The new scrap standards implementation was fully responsible for this sudden drop in imports, Davis Index learned. That said, China has imported 20pc more aluminum scrap in the year till date at 367,398mt compared with 327,578mt in January-May 2020.
Importers may have anticipated that China’s Customs would start rejecting lower-grade scrap at ports like Guangdong and Shanghai since the country accepted around 226,000mt of aluminum scrap in March and April, comparatively higher than the same timeframe last year.
The fate of imports like zorba remains uncertainly bleak as many traders have stopped buying the grade altogether due to the high rejection rate. They have lost many containers to Hong Kong, Malaysia, and South Korea due to this issue. In small quantities, buyers are redirecting to these ports and polishing or refining zorba in order to meet Customs standards.