Recycling body urges shippers to keep bringing scrap

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    BEIJING- The China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association’s CMRA recycling branch (CMRA) is urging shippers to continue carrying copper and aluminum scrap, it said on Tuesday, citing concern over potential raw material shortages.

    New standards for high-grade copper and aluminum scrap have been effective since July 1, but authorities have yet to provide detailed guidance on implementation.

    Furthermore, new solid waste regulations that come into effect in September have also prompted many foreign shippers to stop accepting orders for solid waste for fear of non-redemption, the CMRA said, citing companies at an industry meeting on Aug. 7.

    The world’s top container shipping firm A.P. Moller-Maersk last month said it would stop accepting solid waste shipments bound for China and Hong Kong from September.

    “If the situation continues … companies will face serious issues like raw material shortage, production halts and business shutdowns,” the CMRA’s statement said, adding that it will report on the problems to Chinese authorities as soon as possible.

    China has so far approved 2020 import quotas for 728,610 tons of copper scrap, 694,769 tons of aluminum scrap and 20,500 tons of steel scrap, Reuters calculations show.

    China’s environment ministry said last month it would keep up its system of approving import quotas for solid waste, including scrap metal, until the end of 2020, in a move that will soothe concerns over imminent disruption to supply.

    “In the second half of the year, our ministry will continue the approval mode … and further reduce the import volume of solid waste, including scrap metal, according to the established plan,” Liu Youbin, a spokesman for the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said at a monthly press conference.

    Import quotas are periodically issued by the China Solid Waste and Chemicals Management Center, which is under the environment ministry.

    China plans to cut imports of solid waste to zero by the end of 2020, the culmination of a years-long crackdown on foreign garbage, and major shipping lines have already advised customers they will stop accepting cargoes.