Some of the uncertainty seemed to be gradually dissipating when Beijing finally released two batches of approved copper and aluminium scrap import quotas for the third quarter of this year, even though some of the approvals were released almost two weeks into July. It has been suggested that another batch will be released shortly - with almost a whole month of the third quarter already gone. Then we will be wondering what will happen in the fourth quarter of 2019 and in 2020.
The trade war between the USA and China had been stepped down prior to the G20 meeting in Osaka in late June, but it escalated again immediately afterwards. All in all, the world trade growth rate has dropped sharply from 4.7% in 2017 to 2.6% in 2019, according to World Trade Organization estimates. The trading tension is spreading not only between the USA and China, but also to other nations, and global PMI on new export orders is below the 50-point breakeven mark at 49.1%.
All of the uncertainties - such as rising trade tensions and regulatory/policy changes - are making our business even harder. And that’s not to mention worries of a recession that usually follows a decline in world trade volumes.
South East Asian countries are moving to impose tight controls on inbound scrap over contamination fears. To keep hassles to a minimum even though there is no CCIC pre-shipment inspection, I would urge all of our members to be cautious about quality according to Basel Convention requirements.
Uni-All Group Ltd (USA), President of the Non-Ferrous Metals Division