FOCUS: China's copper scrap import has almost doubled, so why does secondary output lag?

Chinese importers have been buying double the copper scrap from overseas under the category of 'recyclable copper material', yet its growth in secondary copper production is relatively modest.

The country's import volume of copper scrap (HS code: 7404) almost doubled in the first half of 2021 to 821,376 tonnes. It is up 90.8% year on year from a base number affected by outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020.
That is only slightly below the import quantity of 854,578 tonnes in the first half of 2019, China's customs data shows.

China's refined copper production using copper scrap only grew by 10.7% for the first four months of 2021, to 712,000 tonnes, according to the International Copper Study Group (ICSG).
The majority of copper scrap imported to China was not sent to refinery and smelters at all.

"The scrap refined into copper in China...

Published

Julian Luk

July 29, 2021

16:48 GMT

London