March 25, 2020 / 4:15 AM / 8 days ago

TABLE-China's Jan-Feb scrap metal and alumina trade

    BEIJING, March 25 (Reuters) - China's copper scrap imports
in the first two months of 2020 fell 48.5% year-on-year,
according to Reuters calculations based on customs data, as
Beijing cuts quotas for the material before a planned blanket
ban on foreign solid waste by the end of the year.
    Inbound shipments of scrap copper totalled 119,520 tonnes in
January and February combined, according to data released by the
General Administration of Customs on Wednesday, while aluminium
scrap imports fell 40.3% year-on-year to 122,204 tonnes.
    Customs said on Monday it would no longer include scrap
metal in its final trade data bulletin but the numbers are still
searchable in its online database, which is usually updated on
the 25th day of each month.
    Beijing tightened restrictions on scrap metal imports from
July last year, although material meeting newly published
standards for high-grade copper and aluminium scrap will be
allowed to enter China as a resource rather than a waste from
July this year.
    Until then, companies can still apply for quotas to import
scrap, although such allowances are shrinking, while China has
from this month also made copper and aluminium scrap from the
United States eligible for exemption from tariffs of 25% and
50%, respectively, as part of a trade war detente. 
    However, experts do not expect the move to lead to a big
jump in shipments.
   Imports of alumina, used to make aluminium, in
January-February were up more than fivefold to around 690,000
tonnes. China's own alumina production fell by 13% year-on-year
in the two-month period. 
    Alumina exports were at 30,000 tonnes in January-February,
customs said on Monday. That was down 82.7% from a year earlier,
when China's overseas shipments of the material were booming due
to a favourable price arbitrage.
The table below shows import figures in tonnes    
 Commodity            Jan-Feb 2020   pct chg*
 Copper scrap         119,520       -48.5
 Aluminium scrap      122,204       -40.3
 Alumina              690,040       422.8
 *year-on-year percentage change

 (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and
Shailesh Kuber)
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