Oct 14 (Reuters) - China is expected to issue new standards
for steel scrap at the end of 2020, the official Xinhua news
agency reported, in a move that will allow material meeting them
to enter the country after a ban on solid waste imports goes
Beijing currently categorises most scrap metal as solid
waste, imports of which will be banned from the end of this
year, but has already made some exceptions on the nonferrous
side that will allow certain high-grade shipments to continue.
Inflows of steel scrap - which is melted in electric arc
furnaces to make recycled metal - into top steel producer China
have been dwindling ahead of the ban for environmental reasons,
leaving the industry concerned about a shortage of supply.
In January, China published new standards for high-grade
copper scrap and aluminium scrap that allowed them into the
country. Now, new standards have been proposed for high-quality
steel scrap which will be classified as a resource rather than a
waste, meaning it will not be subject to the ban.
The steel scrap standards formulated earlier have now passed
the review stage and work is being accelerated to publish them
at the end of this year, Xinhua reported, citing a meeting on
recyclable ferrous materials in Shanghai on Tuesday but without
providing further details.
Wen Xuefeng, head of the solid waste department at China's
Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said making full use of
domestic and international recycled steel would help reduce
emissions and alleviate China's over-reliance on iron ore,
Dalian iron ore prices have risen more than 50% so
far this year amid coronavirus-related supply concerns and
robust steel demand, squeezing Chinese steel mills' margins.
(Reporting by Tom Daly and Min Zhang; Editing by Jacqueline