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China approves more scrap metal import quotas as new system slips

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China, the world's top metals consumer, has been restricting scrap shipments as part of a crackdown on foreign waste. It aims to reduce imports of solid waste to zero by the end of this year but high-quality copper and aluminium scrap meeting new standards, effective July 1, are not subject to the ban.

[BEIJING] China has approved its largest scrap metal import quotas since April, a government notice showed on Monday, after failing to clarify its new system for bringing in high-quality scrap material by the scheduled date.

The allowances published by the China Solid Waste and Chemicals Management Center - for 176,746 tonnes of high-grade copper scrap, 209,660 tonnes of aluminium scrap and 4,990 tonnes of steel scrap imports in 2020 - will ease fears over a shortage of supply after implementation of the new system was delayed.

China, the world's top metals consumer, has been restricting scrap shipments as part of a crackdown on foreign waste. It aims to reduce imports of solid waste to zero by the end of this year but high-quality copper and aluminium scrap meeting new standards, effective July 1, are not subject to the ban.

However, information on how to import this material - including the applicable customs codes - was not finalised on time. This means the current system, which restricts imports by quotas, is continuing for now, as the Ministry of Ecology and Environment confirmed last week.

The ninth batch of approvals for 2020 saw scrap imports quotas awarded to companies everywhere from Tianjin in northern China to the recycling hub of Guangdong in the south.

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It brings the total approved import quotas for the year so far to 718,500 tonnes of copper scrap, 693,659 tonnes of aluminium scrap and 16,530 tonnes of steel scrap, Reuters calculations showed.

REUTERS

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