Release from BIR

According to news in the media and some additional information received by BIR members, China will only permit 240,429 tonnes of copper scrap imports in the entire third quarter of 2019, as stated on an official list of Chinese importers granted import quotas.

The list, comprising 123 metal scrap importers, was compiled and released by the centre of China Solid Waste and Chemicals Management under the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and also includes aluminium and ferrous scrap importers, although most of the quotas granted are for copper scrap.

This new announcement on the copper scrap import quota represents the amount of high quality scrap - both No1 and No2 scrap, including birch, cliff, candy and mill berry - that will be allowed into the country.

Up until July, China’s category-6 copper scrap importers had not been confined by any quotas.

In 2018, China imported a total 2.4 million tonnes of copper scrap, according to customs data, which equates to a quarterly average of approximately 600,000 tonnes of copper scrap, meaning that the third-quarter 2019 import quota of 240,429 tonnes represents only 40% of the quarterly average import volume of 2018.

According to unconfirmed sources, the total volume of all non-ferrous scrap allowed is believed to be 310,000 MT for the Q3 of 2019. Given the average shipping time of 3-6 weeks, Chinese importers are expected to stop buying non-ferrous scrap at the beginning of July