As I write this report, Theresa May is about to step down as Prime Minister in favour of Boris Johnson, who has beaten Jeremy Hunt in the contest to become the new leader. Brexit, with its new deadline of October 31 looming, was a major topic of debate during the leadership campaign.
Since the previous report, the market has picked up and merchants are reporting an upturn in trade. Copper sales have been helped by an increase in the market; it is widening, but that is standard practice in these market conditions. The import licence changes in China are proving challenging and the country’s 3% tax on copper granules has had a knock-on effect on VIR prices. The lead market is up and, despite the rapidly approaching August holiday period and European shutdowns, there is still an unusual level of interest from end users for this time of year.
The number of catalytic converters available for recycling has increased and this may be linked to the elevation in precious metal prices and an increased awareness of their values. Unfortunately, this has also led to an increase in the numbers being stolen from parked cars. The British Transport Police held a Metal Theft Conference in June and the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) was a guest speaker. Pleasingly, the BMRA is seen to be part of the solution to combatting the rise in UK metal theft incidents rather than part of the problem.
Despite the market increases, sales are still proving difficult for certain grades of aluminium. For example, alloy wheels are not reflecting the market gains, with mills still citing a lack of orders.
The world-famous Glastonbury music festival banned plastic bottles this year. In 2017, organisers recycled 45 tonnes of aluminium and so we are eagerly awaiting the total for this year.
The BMRA is very proud to have received the Excellence in Learning and Development award at the National Recycling Awards in recognition of its development and introduction of a Metal Recycling General Operative Apprenticeship scheme.
Recycled Products Ltd (GBR), Board Member of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division