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New Chinese solid waste law, COVID-19 to squeeze copper scrap supply

Hong Kong — The new Chinese solid waste law, and overseas COVID-19 pandemic could hit China's imported copper scrap trade, squeezing the mainland's copper scrap supply, China-based sources said Aug. 26.

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China's new solid waste law, starting Sept. 1, 2020, has dampened copper scrap importers interests, causing worries about future copper scrap supply, China Construction Bank said in its August copper report, noting that diminishing use of copper scrap could hike copper cathode demand.

Though now it's China's traditional slack copper buying season, the coming September-October boom buy season could recover cathode demand, supporting copper prices, the bank said.

Overseas COVID-19 could make it harder to import scrap metal from aboard, tightening near run copper scrap supply, according to Guosen Securities.

China imported 75,113 mt copper scrap in July 2020, down 92% year on year, Chinese customs data showed.

Tongling Nonferrous Metals in its August copper report said it sees investment growth in the mainland power network, a key copper consumer, to stay high in 2020, and air conditioner sector's domestic and export sales is seen rising this year.

State-run metals consultancy Beijing Antaike in August revised China's 2020 copper demand at 11.56 million mt, instead of the previous 11.4 million mt.