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China approves new steel scrap import quotas

China has approved new import quotas for ferrous scrap, its ninth batch so far this year, awarding the allocations to three scrap and waste processing companies based in East and North China, according to the latest bulletin released by China Solid Waste and Chemicals Management, the state-back conduit regulating the import of water materials under the Ministry of Economy and Environment.

The latest import quotas allow for an additional 4,990 tonnes of steel scrap to enter China during the current July-December half, Mysteel Global notes.

Among the three companies, Zejiang Judong Company, located in East China’s Zhejiang province, secured the largest quota at 3,000 tonnes, with permission granted to import the scrap through Ningbo Beilun Port in East China.

For the remaining two, Jiangsu Tiangong Tools Company received permission to import 1,510 tonnes through Tianjin Xingang Port in North China, while Tianjin Yuwei Hongcheng Metal Products Company secured 480 tonnes and can bring its material in via Shanghai Waigaoqiao Port. All three importers have secured previous quotas, Mysteel Global notes.

This latest quota allocation from China Solid Waste differs from the eighth batch, released on June 16, which consisted entirely of nonferrous metal scrap, namely 5,840 tonnes of copper scrap and 1,570 tonnes of aluminium scrap.

China’s central government has been making efforts to restrict “foreign garbage” flowing into the domestic market and has been tightening solid waste material imports since the end-2016, aiming to reduce such shipments to zero by the end of 2020, as reported. However, domestic scrap associations and enterprises are making efforts to lobby the central government to remove steel scrap from the category of “restriction”.  

The China Association of Metalscrap Utilization wants metal scrap reclassified as the association believes it unreasonable to classify metal scrap as mere waste, and views steel scrap as a valuable raw material instead, as reported.

In addition, China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange is working on launching its new futures contract for steel scrap within 2020 and is now sorting out details relating to physical delivery. “We are optimistic that China can quickly return to the scrap import business,” a Jiangsu-based scrap trader told Mysteel Global.

Written by Lindsey Liu, liulingxian@mysteel.com

Edited by Russ McCulloch, russ.mcculloch@mysteel.com