BEIJING, Dec 4 (Reuters) - China has issued a seventh batch of import quotas for scrap metal, including 17 quotas for a total of 7,970 tonnes of high-grade copper scrap, according to a notice from a unit of the environment ministry.
The quotas are being closely tracked by traders amid concerns the world’s top metals consumer, which tightened restrictions on scrap metal imports from July 1, is leaving itself short of a key source of supply.
China’s scrap copper imports accounted for about 10% of its total copper consumption last year.
China Solid Waste and Chemicals Management Bureau, a unit of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, also granted 16 quotas for aluminium scrap totalling 9,844 tonnes, and 170 tonnes of steel scrap, said a notice dated Tuesday.
An official from the bureau said the new quotas, issued for shipments via ports including Dalian, Ningbo, Fuzhou and Shanghai, could be used for the rest of 2019.
Companies in China are not allowed to import without quotas.
The latest batch brought the total volume of quotas issued for high-grade copper scrap so far to 560,662 tonnes, according to Reuters calculations.
The total volumes for aluminium scrap and steel scrap are 473,965 tonnes and 22,418 tonnes, respectively. (Reporting by Min Zhang and Dominique Patton; Editing by Mark Potter)