China’s imports of copper and aluminium scrap from Malaysia rose in 2019, despite restrictions on scrap imports in the second half of the year. 

 

Copper scrap

China imported 1.5mn mt of copper scrap in 2019, down from 2.4mn mt in the prior year. Malaysia was the top supplier of copper scrap to China in 2019, and exported 267,058mt, up by 154pc or 162,044mt from a year ago. Supplies from Malaysia increased until September but dropped in the last three months of the year.

 

Malaysia was the top supplier of copper scrap to China in the last quarter of 2019, however, exports dropped by 12pc or 6,601mt to 47,016mt from the prior year. Exports from Japan, which was the top supplier of copper scrap to China in the last quarter of 2018, dropped by 88.6pc or 170,445mt in 2019.

 

Aluminium scrap

China’s imports of aluminium scrap from Malaysia increased by 281.8pc or 82,021mt in 2019 from the prior year and by 93.5pc or 6,472mt in the last quarter of 2019 from the prior year period. 

The US continued to be the top supplier of aluminium scrap to China in 2019, but exports dropped by 25pc or 130,773mt from the previous year. In the last quarter of 2019 too, US was the top supplier, but exports of aluminium scrap to China dropped by 60pc or 62,697mt from the prior year.

 

Aluminium alloy 

China’s imports of unwrought aluminium alloy also increased in 2019 by 190pc or 141,247mt from the previous year because of a shortage of aluminium scrap. Malaysia was the top supplier of aluminium alloy to China in 2019, and exported 85,565mt, up by 645.5pc or 74,087mt from the previous year. South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, the UAE and India were the other top suppliers of unwrought aluminium alloy to China in 2019.

 

China’s exports of unwrought aluminium alloy dropped in the last quarter of 2019 by 26pc or 36,580mt to 104,290mt from the prior year, on low demand from Japan, which continued to be the top importer in that period. Imports from Japan, however, dropped by 20pc in the last quarter of 2019 from the period year on low demand from Japan’s auto sector.

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