Global scrap industry awaiting Chinese decision on copper and aluminum imports
New customs codes to reclassify Cu and Al as resources rather than waste
According to a June 28 Reuters article by Tom Daly out of Beijing, China is delaying the release of new customs codes governing high-grade copper and aluminium scrap imports, leaving regulations pertaining to Chinese market access unclear for scrap metal recycling firms around the world.
In January, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) published new standards for "recycled" copper and aluminium, following a strong lobby by the global metals industry to reclassify high-grade scrap as a resource instead of waste - meaning it would not be affected by Chinese bans on "waste" materials.
New standards for copper and aluminum, which reclassify the commodities as non-waste, are scheduled to take effect, July 1, but according to Reuters, no customs codes have so far been released and it is not clear as to where the customs codes will come from. This has resulted in stoppages of cargo for both materials, from foreign and Chinese firms abroad.
"The current situation - without the necessary coordination of all regulators and procedures yet fully established - is a confused fiasco," said Michael Lion, former Asia chairman of Sims Metal Management.
According to Manson Zeng of CRA Recycling International, a trading platform in China, estimates are that there is currently a huge surplus of scrap metal piled in yards in Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia, just to name a few, which are ready for easy shipment to China.
More from Metals Recycling
It's harder than ever to get clean paper. But we've been successfully sorting paper on the front end with optical sorters since 2005. Why have we been so successful? Because we know it's not JUST about the optical. We focus on your entire operation, so you make the most of your fiber line. Is your optical sorter living up to its potential? Call us at 203-967-1100 for a free system evaluation.