Domestic non-ferrous recycling activity is at an all-time high. However, rising inflation is extremely concerning for the government given the high current account deficit; the last quarter saw a 7% depreciation of the rupee. In response, the government is regulating imports more tightly, with 100% cash margin imposed on letters of credit for importers and the possibility of further tightening to come. Meanwhile, exports are at record highs.
With the exceptional aluminium market close to a 12-year high, this is a huge concern for smelters as they encounter sales problems domestically for their products. Secondary ingot demand from China remains strong and is helping industry operators to maintain their business share. However, selling ingots is driving them from their core business objective of product development.
The COVID situation in Pakistan is more stable, with positive cases at around 2%. The face-to-face BIR Global Trading Forum in Brussels will also help in the return to a more normal mindset.