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The New Zealand scrap metal market has improved slightly, with the usual end-of-year increase in intakes ahead of the summer holiday period. The market seems to have reacted favourably to the newly-elected coalition government, which has outlined an ambitious plan for its first 100 days in office and will likely repeal many of the policies of the last three years.

Local metal consumers have reported improved conditions and traditional offshore markets also remain an option.

The New Zealand Reserve Bank held the official cash rate at 5.50% in late November, signalling that inflation is still not within the 1-3% band. Coupled with a tight labour market and rising costs, this is further stressing leveraged households and businesses. Tentatively, these rates will now be held until some time in 2025.

Meanwhile, Australia’s official cash rate was moved up slightly last month to 4.35% - an increase of 25 basis points. The Australian economy is continuing to outperform that of New Zealand, with its merchants and consumers also noting slightly improved trading conditions in line with the usual upturn in intakes prior to Christmas.