China waste policy could make or break the global ferrous scrap market

China’s recent battle against waste imports into the country has proved a success, as August ferrous scrap imports fell to zero, a figure unseen for the past 20 years in the country, according to the latest customs figures. Since late December 2018, China has been slowly isolating itself from the global scrap market. The restrictions on ferrous scrap imports are part of a pushback against the country’s prior, unwanted, role as a dumping ground for global waste. But regional industry participants, including those in China, feel that ferrous scrap has been unfairly caught up in Beijing’s drive for a cleaner environment. The restrictions have contributed to higher domestic scrap prices for its steel makers. At the same time, Chinese steel prices have been weakening, pushing mill margins down. These difficult conditions for the Chinese steel sector have led at least one participant to appeal to the government for a change in regulation, in the hope that easing controls on imported scrap could reduce the pressure on margins. China’s rising scrap demand China’s consumption of ferrous scrap remained unmatched globally in the first half of 2019, hitting 101 million mt, up 13.4 million mt, or 15.3% from the same period in… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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