China to ban solid waste imports as of 2021, except for ferrous scrap

Thursday, 02 July 2020 15:17:45 (GMT+3)   |   Shanghai

Liu Youbin, spokesman for China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment stated on June 30 that China will ban the importation of all solid waste from 2021 for environmental protection reasons, though this will not affect imports of ferrous scrap, the steelmaking raw material. In the January-May period this year, China imported 3.226 million mt of solid waste, down 45.3 percent year on year, he noted.

Mr. Liu said, “China has implemented a series of reform works as of 2017, which resulted in sharp declines in solid waste imports,” adding that China will cut the imports volumes further in the second half of the current year.

Import restrictions have been implemented since July 2019, which have significantly slowed the inflow of ferrous scrap into China. The Chinese government issues limited import quotas for scrap from time to time. Since the restrictions were put in place, Chinese mills that have strong demand for scrap have been urging the government to introduce a new set of standards to allow the resumption of imports of ferrous scrap, especially since they are now cheaper than domestic supply due to the slack demand in overseas markets caused by Covid-19.

Sun Jiansheng, secretary general of the China Association of Metal Scrap Utilization (CAMU), stated at a conference on metal scrap on June 18 held in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province, that the issue of steel scrap imports has strongly attracted the interest of the main leadership of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA). China will likely resume steel scrap imports from next year, while currently China is working on establishing a national standardization for steel scrap.

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