Posted on 23/05/2016 in category Non-Ferrous

BIR World Mirror on Non-Ferrous Metals - Issue May 2016

Welcome to Berlin!

The first half of 2016 has seen some improvement in the non-ferrous market compared to the same period in 2015, driven up by a sudden ferrous price hike before very quickly settling back again. Was this because the fundamentals didn’t improve? We shall soon find out in Berlin.

Many analysts have been paying very close attention to national debt statistics. In the past, when a nation’s total debt amounted to 250% of GDP, a financial crisis was triggered. Now we have seen a few countries either reaching or exceeding this 250% mark: Japan is at 375% and China is right on 250% while India and Germany remain below 200% and the USA is currently at 230%. India has been quite active in the non-ferrous market over the past few months together with its new tariff structure, absorbing some of the supplies which used to be shipped to China.

The most significant figure about which all of us should be more concerned is that, regarding China’s debt being 250% of GDP, some 170% is derived from “Non-Financial Business Entities…private and state-owned combined”. Without raising GDP and/or dropping debt, the ratio becomes a ticking time bomb. How Beijing deals with the debt problem certainly will impact the world economy greatly.

Two months ago, there began a debate among high-ranking officials in Beijing about banning imports of plastic scrap, recovered paper and mixed metal scrap into China. We are watching developments very closely and BIR’s Consultant in Beijing - Mr Ma Hongchang - was asked to add his opinion to the debate, which we have published in this Mirror.

Last by not least, in recent years we have seen an increasing number of people not registering at BIR Conventions but occupying the hotel lobby, bars and coffee shops to solicit business. Sometimes, the non-registered outnumber the registered. This kind of activity takes advantage of all of us; even worse, they are abusing the systems and BIR’s reputation. So if you are approached by such people, please ask them first to register at the BIR Convention.

by David Chiao
Uni-All Group Ltd (USA)
President of the Non-Ferrous Metals Division
13 May 2016

Read the full market report in our members' area.