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The EU Commission’s proposal for a new Waste Shipment Regulation, presented on November 17, essentially provides for the retention of current structures for shipments within the EU. New features include the introduction of mandatory electronic communication in the handling of notification and Annex VII procedures, the expansion of regulations on recovery facilities with prior consent and the possibility of clarifying classification issues through delegated acts.

There is to be significant tightening in the area of waste exports to third countries outside the EU. In particular, exports to non-OECD countries will be permitted only in rare cases in future if the draft is not amended in the further legislative process. Of course, this is not good news for the recycling industry because we know that we need free access to markets when it comes to non-ferrous metals.

As with every year at this time, business slows down and the availability of metals decreases. Especially among the clean grades, volumes of new scrap have also dropped sharply as a result of curtailed production activities. The LME, which has risen significantly in the meantime, revived business for a few days in November but, overall, we do not expect any serious changes in terms of availability until the new year.

Inflation rates in the Eurozone are higher than ever before. That is why the European Central Bank has started to raise the key interest rate. Nevertheless, we will have to live for some time with high inflation rates, which are mainly due to shortages of: gas and other energy sources; intermediate products owing to disrupted supply chains; and, last but not least, skilled labour, especially in Germany.