China’s newly-introduced import policy is encouraging importers to chase much higher purity units rather than traditional scrap packages owing to the rejections reported at entry ports. Since the new import policy was implemented at the beginning of November last year, high purity scrap has increasingly replaced copper blister imports at much more attractive discounts.
Operating rates for domestic secondary aluminium smelters reportedly fell from over 60% in January to the low 40% range during February. Nevertheless, this is a 23% increase over the same period last year.
There has been an agreement to build a US$ 2.8 billion copper smelter in Indonesia, with the majority of the investment coming from China’s Tsingshan Holding Group, the world’s largest stainless producer, with the rest from Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Copper product output is expected to be worth at least US$ 10 billion.
During the National People’s Congress, China’s Premier Li Keqiang set a GDP target of over 6% for 2021, adding: “We have left possibilities open, which means in actual delivery, there may be even faster growth.” Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund is projecting 8.1% growth for the Chinese economy this year.
OmniSource Corporation (USA), Board Member of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division