January 2006

China to cut import duty of scrap copper

Shanghai— China will adjust down the import duty of scrap copper next year, said Zai Xin, vice secretary-general of the Reclaimed Metal Branch of China Association of Nonferrous Metals Industry.

This aims to promote the orderly development of scrap metal retrieving industry and safeguard the economic security of the non-ferrous metal sector, noted Zai when attending the 2nd China Copper Conference.

At present, the supply of copper resource is tight in China, and the gap between copper production and copper smelting capacity is widening, both having caused imports of scrap copper to grow rapidly.

In the first three quarters of this year, China’s copper production reached 1.85 million tons, rising 18.4 per cent on-year, while its import of scrap copper topped 2.6 million tons, soaring 30.4 per cent on-year.

China has become the world’s No.1 buyer of scrap metals, but the disorderly competition and the tight supply of industrial raw materials in export countries have resulted in a continued increase in the difficulty to import scrap metals and the import cost as well.

The relevant department plans to cut the import duty of scrap copper, so as to reduce the import link cost, promote the orderly and steady development of the industry and ensure the copper supply to meet the demand of the development of the national economy.

Importing nonferrous metal scrap is a key way for China to make up the nonferrous metals resource and reclaiming scrap metals will be a rising industry long-term, said the official.

The nonferrous metal retrieving market is at present large in China. Take copper for example. Though China’s copper ore production grew 7 per cent to reach 607,000 tons in 2004, its smelted copper production jumped 12 per cent, and the gap between copper ore production and the demand of refined copper production expanded from 1.23 million tons in 2003 to 1.45 million tons in 2004.

China imported 3.96 million tons of scrap copper and copper-bearing scrap in 2004 and the import will reach 4.4 million tons in 2005, from which, China may get more than 800,000 tons of copper.

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