US exports of aluminium scrap, copper scrap to China slide in 2018

The United States' aluminium and copper scrap export volumes to China (including Hong Kong) tumbled in 2018, hitting 14-year and 18-year lows respectively.

Abrupt changes in trade policies between the US and China - including China's aggressive restrictions on contaminants in scrap metal imports, a 25% tariff on aluminium scrap shipments from the US announced in April and an additional 25% tariff on copper scrap and other non-ferrous scrap imports from the US - severely hampered that country's appetite for material from the US. The sheer drop in shipping volumes to China was viewed as a stark reminder for how quickly the global scrap trade arena changed, sources said, noting that they are still struggling to offset the reduction in China’s scrap appetite by tapping into emerging markets. “With the tariffs on US aluminium and copper scrap and [China’s] environmental changes, it absolutely makes sense to see these kinds of declines. The volumes are off because...


Bradley MacAulay

March 12, 2019

21:44 GMT