China scrap imports decline after tariffs on US shipments

China scrap imports decline after tariffs on US shipments

Chinese customs figures show considerable declines in September 2018.

October 24, 2018

Scrap buyers in China greatly curtailed their purchases from other parts of the world in September, with a contributing factor likely to be the tariffs China’s government placed on several scrap commodities shipped from the United States, as part of the ongoing trade dispute.

Statistics issued by the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) on Oct. 23 show a complete absence of plastic scrap imported in September and sharp drops in other frequently traded scrap commodities, according to an online summary posted by Reuters.

According to that summary, the 1.6 million metric tons of scrap paper imported by Chinese buyers in September represents a more than 23 percent drop compared to August.

The nation’s imports of scrap metal dropped even more sharply, down 44 percent from August to 360,000 metric tons, according to Reuters. About 200,000 metric tons of that total was copper-bearing scrap (down nearly 39 percent from August), while only 100,000 metric tons of aluminum scrap was brought in—down nearly 47 percent from August.

GACC monthly and year-to-date import and export figures sorted by broader categories (including pulp and scrap paper, #25; and metal ores and scrap, #28) can be found on this web page.