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The unpredictability of current times is slowly seeping into our business. The nervousness and anxiety building over recent weeks are palpable.

Despite inflationary pressures, India still managed to put on a good show with overall growth of 8.8% for the last 12 months. In the metals arena, secondary aluminium producers have started to feel the pressure of low demand for die-casting grade ingots from Asia. Owing to lower availability, input (scrap) prices have traded at the higher end of the spectrum but they are not being adequately matched on the ingot side. This could lead to an early summer break for smelters who typically record lower outputs in the months of May and June owing to labour shortages and plant maintenance.
For copper and brass, stronger domestic demand has kept markets liquid. Owing to rapid fluctuations on the LME, most processors are trying to do a natural hedge by converting their buy/sell contracts on a formula basis to mitigate price risks.

Some progress has been made in discussions with the government regarding the process of establishing standards for metal scrap. While the government recognizes the deep socio-economic impact brought along by the recycling industry and wants to set up standards which are conducive to sustainable growth, there is constant interference from primary metal producers (using mined resources) who are pushing for unrealistically high thresholds for metal contents which could possibly help them to consolidate their market share.