Business is brisk as companies look to sell their scrap before closing for the holidays on December 11; a few manufacturers and merchants are closing later in the month owing to COVID-19.
Scrap metal recyclers are still operating under Level 1 restrictions. More scrap is available and the prices being paid are still very high. No export permits are being issued at present for copper scrap but some are being granted for brass and aluminium scrap in a process that takes 15 to 20 days.
South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry, Treasury and International Trade Administration Commission are still exploring the issue of a scrap export tax to stimulate local and downstream industry; feedback suggests this could take effect from April 1 2021.
Many scrap dealers are currently installing plants to melt copper, brass and aluminium into blocks, ingots and billets.
There are concerns that COVID-19 cases are increasing ahead of the December holidays and so restrictions could be put in place in certain parts of the country. The economy is still in recession but the South African rand has improved to 15.40 to the dollar owing to the weakness of the US currency.
Non-Ferrous Metal Works (ZAF) (Pty) Ltd, Board Member of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division