Economic and business conditions are improving. There is still a domestic shortage of suitable scrap and the prices being paid are very high. Export permits are still being issued for brass (Drink) and aluminium scrap, while the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) is continuing to send representatives to yards in order to verify export applications. ITAC, the Department of Trade & Industry and the Treasury are still proposing to introduce an export tax on scrap metal by August 1 this year at the latest and we will keep you updated on latest developments
Scrap dealers are still melting copper, brass and aluminium into blocks, ingots and billets, thereby creating local shortages of suitable scrap metal.
In other developments, COVID cases are on the increase with some 15,000 to 20,000 per day, and the country remains in Level 4 lockdown. More than 4.2 million people have been vaccinated but the government is well behind its proposed target.
Former President Jacob Zuma was jailed earlier in July for 15 months; his supporters are unhappy and have continued to protest for his immediate release. This has been one of the worst periods in South African history, with rioting and looting seen mainly in KwaZulu-Natal. Many businesses have been looted or burned down. Amid a very uncertain outlook, the South African National Defence Force has been required to be sent to various areas to ensure calm.
Mainly as a result of this unrest, the South African rand is trading weaker at 14.50 to the US dollar.
Non-Ferrous Metal Works (ZAF) (Pty) Ltd, Board Member of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division