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Eastern Europe

The big news for the Polish aluminium industry is that the acquisition of Alumetal by Norsk Hydro was completed on July 5. Other than that, a strong zloty is halting the country’s export activity as the market heads towards the usual August slowdown for the holiday season.

In an exciting development, the Czech Republic’s environment minister has invited EU member states to explore the possibility of introducing lower VAT rates on products with recycled content. This would be a great step towards promoting the circular economy and supporting the metals recycling industry.

In Russia, the exchange rate shift from 84 roubles to the US dollar to 90.5 at the time of writing has had fixed effects on the market. Brass scrap, which is more dependent on exports, has been more available on the market owing to this weaker rouble whereas aluminium and copper scrap, which are mostly tied to domestic consumption, have been hard to move. While scrap yards are expecting higher prices owing to the currency shift, domestic copper cable and aluminium alloy prices have remained stable.