Select Page

The latest news from your favourite UK metal stockists

China unexpectedly restricts the import of scrap metals, Trump imposing new duties on Chinese aluminium and the tribe in Africa that created the world’s first carbon steel! Here’s the news from Metalex.

China unexpectedly restricts the import of scrap metals. Trump may be imposing new duties on Chinese aluminium sheet products. And did you know that a tribe in Africa, the Haya, created the world’s first carbon steel as far back as 100AD? Here’s the news from Metalex, your trusted Aluminium Suppliers, Carbon Steel Suppliers and Metal Stockists.

Scrap metal imports restricted by China

Scrap firms all over the world have been freely shipping red metal scrap to China for recycling. Now they’ve been left hanging thanks to China’s unexpected new restrictions on scrap imports. And the import bans are contributing to an equally unexpected slowdown in the worldwide supply of copper, a problem that has hit Asia particularly hard.

The Shanghai Futures Exchange, London Metal Exchange and Chicago-based COMEX market are all suffering low inventory and exchange pricing is flat, but physical premiums are actually rising as Asian copper producers, sellers and buyers do their best to adapt to the fast-changing dynamics of the scrap sector. August’s 25% US scrap tariffs didn’t help matters. Now China has placed new restrictions on the purity of copper scrap imports, an act that has slowed down the overall movement of the metal worldwide.

In the past China transformed imported red scrap into refined copper, which was quickly fed back into the market. Now the lack of scrap means there’s a real restriction on finished copper availability in Asia, which could easily spread to affect other regions.

During 2017 and into this year, a growing number of SMEs in China’s recycling sector have moved their processing operations abroad to places like Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan and Japan. Rumour has it these countries might be the latest focus for Chinese investment, a prediction that might see governments in these countries also getting feisty about scrap imports, potentially leading them to make sudden, potentially disastrous policy changes of their own.

China’s government has hinted it might ban all scrap imports by the end of 2020. On the other hand such a drastic decision would probably cause chaos in their domestic refined metals market, ushering in difficulties throughout the entire copper scrap chain.

New US duties applied to Chinese aluminium sheet products

Will the US Commerce Department impose more anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on Chinese common aluminium sheet products? Probably. The decision is expected to affect aluminium sheet products of 96.3% to 176.2%, marking the first time final duties have been issued in a North American trade remedy case since the mid ’80s.

The reasoning behind this latest predicted tranche of duties? Apparently it’s down to a surge in ‘low-priced, unfairly traded imports of common alloy sheet from China’, a trend which has shot up around 750% over the past ten years and by almost 100% between 2014 and 2017 alone. This has led to large market share gains by Chinese imports at the ‘direct expense’ of the USA.

Trump had originally threatened a much more aggressive approach to trade enforcement, but the final aluminium sheet duties set in April and July were slashed, reduced from the original combined range of 198.4 to 280.46%.

During 2017 Chinese common alloy aluminium sheet imports reached an estimated US$900 million, used mainly for transport, construction, infrastructure, electrical and marine applications. The US International Trade Commission will make its final decision on 20th December, having already voted in and authorised the investigations during January.https://www.metalex.co.uk/wp-admin/post.php?post=3035&action=edit#

The Haya people invented carbon steel in 100AD

You thought carbon steel was a relatively modern material. Think again. Way back in 100 AD, the Haya tribe invented carbon steel. The African tribal elders were in charge of the process, which involved creating carbon from mud and grass, then combining it with iron in a sophisticated open furnace to produce the metal.

The quality of this ancient African carbon steel was remarkable, much better than the European version that didn’t arrive until centuries later. No wonder when the Haya were such an unusually sophisticated people. They grew banana, beans, coffee, tea, plantain and maize. As fine fishermen and a people who were famously talented in animal husbandry, the Haya actually traded coffee far and wide way before the invading Europeans arrived. Next time you pick up a chunk or carbon steel, give the Haya a nod of respect.

Want metals?

Whatever your metal supply needs, we’re always glad to help you make the best decisions, thanks to years of expertise and high levels of professionalism. See you soon.

The latest from the blog.

Metal supply news – US aluminium sector crippled, and a steel wall on the horizon

  All eyes are turned towards the USA at the moment as Trump's state subsidised imports start to cripple American aluminium producers, and he decides his Mexican border wall should in fact be made from steel. Here's the latest news from our world to yours.  ...

Aluminium – A remarkable metal becoming even more remarkable

Aluminium. It's an astonishing substance, and as aluminium suppliers we see an awful lot of it. Excitingly, new developments in the metals sector are seeing it scale new heights of usefulness and practicality. Here's our December aluminium special. An exciting new...

The latest news from your favourite UK metal stockists.

China unexpectedly restricts the import of scrap metals, Trump imposing new duties on Chinese aluminium and the tribe in Africa that created the world's first carbon steel! Here's the news from Metalex. China unexpectedly restricts the import of scrap metals. Trump...

Metal Supplies News

Trump’s legacy of tariffs and exclusions rumbles on. A stainless steel 3D printed bridge takes shape in Amsterdam. And a couple of brass thieves are caught stealing from a cemetery. Here is the news.   Amsterdam's innovative 3d printed bridge Amsterdam is now the...

Metal Suppliers News – Super-strong alloys, US metals quotas, weird metallic plants

Trump’s administration relaxing the steel and aluminium quotas, weird plants seem to have an affinity for heavy metals and the world’s most wear-resistant material. Here’s the news from the wonderful world of metal supply. Trump's administration is relaxing the steel...

Trumps crazy metal tariffs, Fiat Chrysler innovate with aluminium and other news from our world.

Trumps crazy metal tariffs, Fiat Chrysler innovate with aluminium and other news from our world. We've got the tiger by the tail – Fiat Chrysler on their cool new aluminium alloy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have developed a brand new aluminium alloy for engines, and it...

Will Trump’s Trade War Affect UK Metals Prices?

Will Trump’s Trade War Affect UK Metals Prices? At Metalex we stock stainless steel, aluminium sheet, carbon steel and more, so it matters what's going on out there in the wider world.  Are we heading for a Trump-ignited metals trade war? Or are we already there?  A...

News From the Wonderful World of Metal Supply

Nothing stands still for long in our world. Metal prices, exciting discoveries, new methods of extracting and manufacturing… it’s all go. And May 2018 is no different. Here are three amazing tales from your favourite British metal suppliers.   Introducing...

The news from Metalex, popular stainless steel suppliers in the UK .

The news from Metalex, popular Stainless Steel suppliers in the UK . As steel suppliers, UK based and highly experienced, we like to keep a finger on our industry's pulse. As highly experienced metal stockists we like to monitor demand, supply, pricing and everything...

Trump’s Metal Supply Machinations – Creating Chaos in Our Sector

This week sees a flurry of metal supply related chaos emanating from the USA, as US President Donald Trump has the world’s metal manufacturers and suppliers in a tizz thanks to his plans to impose a 10% tariff on aluminium imports and a 25% tariff on steel imports. ...

Metal Products

Accreditations & Associations

Quick Enquiry

  • South East
  • South West
  • London
  • South Wales
  • North Wales
  • West Midlands
  • East Midlands
  • North East
  • North West
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland

Call us now

on 0330 223 2653

Share This