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More football, less business

Reviewing current conditions across our markets globally, terms like “low demand”, “slowdown”, “stagnation”, “gloomy” and “uncertainty” are clearly resonating. Luckily, the football World Cup in Qatar is giving us some regular thrills and excitement. And just like some of our markets which have performed ahead of overall trends and conditions, there have been some surprises in the World Cup too, with some of the most unexpected countries registering big wins.

As we approach the end of 2022, a year likely to be etched in history for its global volatility and tensions, let us hope that 2023 delivers stability, peace and growth.

As regards business, key developments this year have included policy interventions in several countries which have kept our industry on the edge of its seat. Actively responding on each occasion, BIR has emphatically communicated to all governments the necessity of global free trade in order to promote sustainability and circularity goals, which possibly averted an export ban on aluminium scrap in Mexico at the last minute. However, despite BIR flagging up its concerns, South Africa has still imposed a temporary ban on exports for some of our non-ferrous grades.

Currently in India, a government department is consistently pushing for quality standards for trading aluminium and copper scrap. This is presumably being done at the behest of two primary producers who want to force market substitution as their capacities have doubled over the last five years. The industry and its associations are questioning the intent and rationale behind such a move, which is being seen as a non-tariff barrier. Similarly in Europe, the amended Waste Shipment Regulation draft and impending vote could prove highly disruptive, especially with regards to exports of scrap from the EU to non-OECD countries. Only time will tell us the outcome, but this serves only as a challenge to new investment and growth in our industry.

As you may have noticed, following ratification during our recent Dubai Convention, we are delighted to have two new faces on our BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division board, namely Elinor Feuer and Rami Shahrour, representing Scandinavia and the Middle East respectively. I sincerely hope you find their Mirror reporting highly insightful and useful.

Wishing you all a lovely holiday season ahead.