Posted on 04/06/2013 in category Non-Ferrous

No place for taxes

Metals need to find their way around the world with an economic efficiency that is too often disrupted by governments. Proximity to local scrap is often the reason for these disruptions as domestic consumers seek to limit exports to nations who do not meet certain “acceptable” criteria to treat scrap. Import duties on scrap, such as those imposed very recently by the government of India, also serve to disrupt what should be the normal movement of our products. Scrap metal, given its tremendous value to the ecological well-being of the world, should never be taxed, nor should its export be controlled by industry pressure on governments.

As we meet in Shanghai, we are in the midst of an almost universal economic stagnation. Scrap is not being traded in the volumes evident for most of the past decade, and our margins are being compressed as material is fully valued at all points in the recycling chain. In short, both suppliers and consumers are finding it difficult to make money.

This too shall change, just as it always does. The less those governments get involved by interfering with the normal flow of metal from source to consumption, the faster that change shall occur.

Robert Stein
Alter Trading (USA)
President of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division
13 May 2013

Read the full market report in our members' area.