BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese copper buyers are hunting for alternative sources of the commodity as ramped-up restrictions on imports of high-grade copper scrap kick in on Monday in the world’s top consumer of the metal.
China has been gradually curbing imports of scrap, which accounted for 10% of its copper use in 2018, in a campaign against shipping foreign solid waste into the country.
Monday - Firms - Import - Quotas - Copper
From Monday, only firms with import quotas can bring in scrap copper from overseas.
“(Importers are) already looking for blister out of South America and Africa and everywhere,” said an executive at a company with scrap operations in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang. Blister is a partially purified form of copper.
Copper - Cathodes - Standards - Exchanges - London
Off-grade copper cathodes, which do not quite conform to standards set by exchanges such as the London Metal Exchange, are another alternative. Cathodes are a basic form of copper used to make products such as copper rods and tubes.
Chinese buyers are “very much interested” in off-grade cathodes, which can sell at a discount of $100 a tonne or more to registered brands, to compensate for the lack of scrap, said a source with a major supplier. He declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
Rod - Mills
“It seems that rod mills here are not so picky now,” he added.
Supply worries have been compounded by uncertainty over how quickly and how widely import quotas for high-grade scrap will be awarded.
China - Environment - Ministry - Week - Batch
China’s environment ministry last week released the first batch...
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