Weak demand and falling base metals prices have led Recyclex’s German companies—Weser Metall, Harz Metall, Norzinco, and PPM Pure Metals—to file for insolvency.
In a statement Thursday, the French recycler said COVID-19’s deleterious effects on the economy had made financially sustaining the companies too difficult.
Recyclex added that all of its operations in France, which remain financially viable, would be its focus moving forward while the German companies complete their restructuring under German insolvency laws.
By filing for insolvency, Recyclex indicated, the four companies could restructure to function profitably in the low-demand environment caused by the pandemic.
Sebastian Rudow, Recyclex’s chief executive officer, said low zinc prices and dwindling supply hampered both Norzinco and Harz Metall. Moreover, Weser Metall, which produces around 100,000mt of lead annually, shut down production in March because demand for the metal, as well as lead acid battery supply, plummeted as the pandemic hit.
Harz Metall recycles lead and zinc, while Weser Metall and Norzinco produce the two materials. PMM Pure Metals produces minor metals and related compounds.