Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

India’s imports of copper scrap rose by 14pc to  61,556mt in the first quarter of 2020 from the prior-year period as buyers expected copper ingot demand from China to rise. Aluminium scrap imports remained unchanged at 333,662mt.


India became the top importer of aluminium scrap in the first quarter as China imposed stricter import quota restrictions in addition to the country facing major operational shutdowns in the first quarter due to the spread of COVID-19. Most Indian secondary copper and aluminium manufacturers went into lockdown at the end of March with stocked up inventories as both domestic and global demand dropped due to the pandemic. The country’s imports of non-ferrous scrap are expected to drop significantly in the second quarter (Apr-June) amid a complete lockdown announced by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


In the first quarter, the US continued to be the top supplier of copper and aluminium scrap to India. Exports of copper scrap from the US, however, dropped by 6pc but aluminium scrap exports rose by 21pc from the prior-year period, as India became the preferred destination after China restricted imports.


In March, both copper and aluminium scrap imports into India dropped by 8pc and 15pc, respectively, as the country entered lockdown at the end of the month while some of the top supplying countries like the UK and the UAE stopped operations early in March.

India exports (mt)Mar-20Mar-19% changeJan-Mar 2020Jan-Mar 2019% change
Copper scrap17,56519,079-8%61,55654,14214%
Major exporters      
Saudi Arabia1,8102,428-25%6,5097,270-10%
Aluminium scrap92,762109,063-15%333,662334,8200%
Major exporters      

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