According to a report obtained by a prominent commodities news outlet, the government of the People’s Republic of China is planning to recategorize high-purity scrap metal imports only months after setting quotas on the import of the same.
Per Argus media, an unpublished proposal circulated in Beijing describes a plan to increase aluminium and copper content in imported scrap while lowering permitted impurities. In order to meet these higher hurdles, the government will impose a mandatory labyrinth of complex testing to verify metal content, included impurities, and sizing.
According to the report, the new requirements are part of a strategy to kickstart the country’s domestic recycling sector. Additionally, the new requirements are expected to increase the price of imports, but the scrap that meets the new requirements will be classed as raw materials, making it subject to fewer import restrictions.
“In order to avoid the environmental pollution caused by producing primary aluminium from bauxite and the huge energy waste, the developed countries have developed related product recycling laws, which require aluminium products manufacturers to undertake the resource and environmental responsibility in their supply chain,” said the Chinese national non-ferrous metals standardization technical committee in the unpublished report.
The committee went on to say that the new standard for imported aluminium alloy casting scrap would be a requirement for 98 percent purity and a maximum of 0.7 percent impurities. In addition, imported scrap aluminium would be prohibited from containing antimony, bismuth, lead, and tin.
Meanwhile, shredded aluminium scrap (zorba) would be subject to a requirement of 91 percent purity and a maximum of 0.9 percent impurities.
Aluminium casts would face a recovery rate requirement of 95 percent, while that of zorba would be 92 percent, which would be tested in every sampled batch. The recovered material would be required to be free of visible dust, grease, mud, paint, ink, corrosive material, adhesive tapes and boards, plastic, felt, paper, glass fiber, and non-metallic material.
As to sorting, the proposal would require grouping by size, with packaging to be marked with a thorough description of the size, weight, and other pertinent descriptors.
“China’s manufacturing industry provides a large number of sufficient and high-quality raw materials to achieve sustainable development of China’s manufacturing industry and sustainable supply of non-ferrous metal resources,” explained the committee.