n° 168 – September/October 2020

A new Cabinet, just formed following more than seven years under the previous administration, has started trying to strike a balance between Coronavirus measures and economic recovery. Japan’s GDP sank 28.1% year on year in the second quarter.

Domestic mills’ demand for No.1 copper scrap is at the same level for the fourth quarter as it was for the third quarter when demand fell to half of the level recorded in the same period last year. Domestic smelters’ demand for No.2 copper scrap fell for the first time in the last five months, and one smelter’s tighter acceptance criteria have led to overflowing volumes of some grades. Meanwhile, cable scrap is being sourced aggressively by Malaysian choppers, shaking off competitors such as South Korea, and this has kept the domestic price very high.

Aluminium scrap supply remains low, creating severe competition among buyers. Domestic aluminium alloy production is still approximately 30% lower than at the same time last year and is being compensated by imports.

Although demand from Japan’s stainless steel mills remains low, strong sourcing from South Korea and Taiwan is sustaining the domestic market.


Nick Hinohara  - Nick Hinohara  (Japan)

Nick Hinohara

Metal Solution Provider (JPN), Board Member of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division

n° 168 – September/October 2020