The situation on the markets of non-ferrous scrap metals
In India, the announcement of financial legislation coincided with a reduction in the so-called “special added duty” on the import of copper, brass and aluminium, which lowered from 4% to 2%, to the satisfaction of the non-ferrous scrap metal industry. However, the issue of duties on the import of finished products and semi-finished products from the countries, which are parties to free trade agreements remains to be addressed. In China, there the usual massive recovery in demand after the break over New Year did not occur, confirming the economic slowdown in the country. Last year, imports of scrap copper, for example, dropped to the lowest levels in the last decade, and were 16% lower in January of this year compared to December 2014. In the Middle East, the market was more sluggish in the month of March compared to previous months, due to volatility in the prices of metals. However, trading volumes in the first quarter of 2015 were enough to keep both manufacturers and exporters busy, creating optimism about the possibility of a regular flow of non-ferrous scrap metal and a more satisfactory second quarter. In South Africa, a shortage of raw materials was recorded, due to a relatively low level of industrial activity. As a result, prices for scrap metals increased over recent weeks. In the United States, the production of non-ferrous scrap metal has been declining, due to the difficulties operators have encountered in obtaining materials.ountered by operators. Some operators are operating at 30-40% of capacity. With the resumption of exports, this shortage could cause prices to rise. In Mexico, there is growing demand from aluminium producers who supply the automotive industry but, in this market as well, the materials are available only at high prices. France recorded an increase in purchases by consumers of non-ferrous scrap metal, but prices remain quite low, with a reduction in margins. In Germany, however, there is still uncertainty while the availability of scrap is sufficient to meet market demands, in particular with regard to copper.