Scrap metal merchants in both Australia and New Zealand remain reasonably busy with financial year-end for many New Zealand companies at the end of March and with strong commodity pricing. Consumers in both countries are buying at current levels and, with the shipping issues many have experienced of late, local consumers appear to have good stock levels on hand.
While both Australia and New Zealand are essentially COVID-free and, excluding the isolated case from time to time, have been so for many months, their economies are certainly recovering at different speeds. New Zealand’s GDP declined 2.9% over the year to December 2020 - its largest-ever annual fall - whereas Australian GDP fell 1.1% over the same period, and employment is now higher than pre-COVID levels. These contrasting economic performances have been attributed largely to the two countries’ different approaches to lockdowns, particularly in the early part of 2020.
As both economies look to recover, they remain closed off to international travel. There is now talk of the potential for travel being allowed to resume between the two countries next month. This would certainly help reconnect families, boost the tourism sector and hopefully start to build on the economic recovery momentum that is needed.
Hayes Metals (NZL), Vice-President of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division