China’s appetite for copper is picking up rapidly, according to a recent article by Bloomberg.
India, Korea, China and Malaysia are leading the demand for scrap aluminium, a story in Recycling Today pointed out.
There is clearly a very strong demand at present for non-ferrous metals from Asia, while ferrous grades are also wanted by these countries.
According to Argos Media, Malaysia was the main destination for US exports of aluminium and the number two destination for copper after China in the first half of 2021.
For ferrous metals, Turkey is the main destination for US scrap, followed by China and Malaysia.
The UK, European and Japanese exporters are also taking advantage of this strong demand to send their scrap metals to manufacturing destinations in Asia.
But if you are exporting to some Asian nations, then the quality has to be the key.
Malaysia will introduce new regulations on the import of scrap metal imminently, while China brought in a new inspection process from the start of 2021. Indonesia has also implemented new guidelines. India is expected to bring in new regulations on impurities. But what are the new rules?
Recently, Malaysia introduced new criteria for the import of scrap metals.
From 16 July 2021, ferrous metals imports must be no less than 94.75% ferrous, 5% non-ferrous and just 0.25% other recoverable materials including plastics.
For copper and aluminium, it is similar with 94.75% of the non-ferrous metal, 5% ferrous and 0.25% other recoverable materials including plastics.
Then by 31 December 2021, scrap metal recovery facilities will need to have been approved by Malaysian inspection authority SIRIM and foreign inspection bodies. At this point, those that have been approved will have a simplified inspection and clearance process in preparation for a Certificate of Approval application.
Although China appeared to be heading towards a total ban on scrap metal imports from the beginning of 2021, it actually changed course and introduced tough standards instead. These came in for non-ferrous metals in November 2020 and ferrous metals from 1 January 2021.
Effectively, if you want to export copper, brass and aluminium scrap to China, you have to meet a 99.1% purity level. Since June, the materials are subject to inspection by Chinese Customs officials.
For ferrous metals, you have to meet the requirements of five HS codes for different types of ferrous grades, and if doing so, are not subject to a full inspection.
In 2019, Indonesia announced that it was introducing a 0.5% contamination limit for metal and paper imports. However, in July 2021 it eased its restrictions and now permits 2% contamination.
The Metals Recycling Authority is being set up by the Indian Government and is expected to introduce limits for metallic and non-metallic impurities.
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