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Japan

The ruling LPD party has begun what has been termed a “golden three-year period” to implement its own policies without being disturbed by any more elections. Meanwhile, the yen has fallen dramatically, mainly due to the policy of the Bank of Japan to continue with monetary easing, causing inflation in customer goods and energy costs while also leading to a larger trade deficit.

In the copper market, May’s domestic sales of rolling products fell below 60,000 tonnes for the first time in four months, although demand is not believed to have embarked on a downward trend. Japan imported 23,322 tonnes of copper scrap in that same month, the largest volume since January 2019 and indicative of a shortage in local scrap generation. Imports from Thailand are approaching 3000 tonnes per month.

Limited automotive production has kept local demand for ADC12 and aluminium scrap low, despite support from the lower yen.

For stainless steel, one of the most active scrap exporters has stopped buying for fear of a further decline in the LME nickel price. Domestic mills have also been limiting deliveries from local scrap suppliers.