Business is slow as most companies resumed operations only on January 18. Furthermore, COVID is taking its toll on employees and productivity. Metal recyclers are currently operating under Level 3 restrictions.
Scrap is available and prices being paid are very high. While no export permits are being issued at present for copper scrap, the same does not apply to certain grades of brass such as Drink and aluminium scrap. The International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) recently held a meeting to discuss approval of export applications from last year. ITAC and the Department of Trade and Industry are to respond by July 1 at the latest regarding an export tax on scrap metal.
Scrap dealers are continuing to melt copper, brass and aluminium into blocks, ingots and billets.
COVID infections increased to between 14,000 and 20,000 cases per day in the first half of January, with fatalities between 400 and 800. Clearly, this is a major concern not only from a human perspective but also for the economy and the way forward. There is no clarity regarding when vaccinations will begin.
In financial developments, the rand has strengthened to around 14.90 against the weaker US dollar.
Non-Ferrous Metal Works (ZAF) (Pty) Ltd, Board Member of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division