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The local market is showing increasing interest in non-ferrous metals on growing demand from Chinese smelters and consumers, mainly for secondary ingots such as aluminium and copper.

However, scrap supply continues to be tight owing to a lack of recycling activity and high costs. Closure of Red Sea routes to leading shippers has impacted the cost of materials through a higher logistics and financing burden, with delivery times almost 2.5 times longer than normal.

Strong Chinese demand after the Chinese New Year holidays has led to a huge shortage of materials, with logistical challenges eating away at margins. 

The high costs also dampening ferrous demand will further affect non-ferrous supply as 

ferrous remains a driving force for several non-ferrous materials.

Given the economic challenges facing China of late, non-ferrous demand can be expected to remain unstable with tight supply.