Posted on 11/10/2011 in category Convention

The End of the Waste Era – Roller Coaster Commodity Prices Create Market Instability

Updated World Commodity Report to be launched at BIR Autumn Round-Table Sessions

Munich, 24-25 October 2011


Press Conference

Monday, 24 October at 12.30 hrs 

Room Atlanta, Westin Grand Hotel, Munich

2011 has proved to be a highly volatile year for strategic commodities such as paper and scrap metal. A report commissioned by the world recycling body Bureau of International Recycling and authored by Professor Philippe Chalmin of Paris-Dauphine University shows that the global financial slowdown initially failed to dent the vertiginous price rise of manufacturing commodities, but difficulties in the Eurozone along with uncertainty over the Chinese economy prompted slashed prices of non-ferrous metals and paper pulp in early October.

“Do commodities have any steam left, or are they on the way down?”  Professor Chalmin asks. “This volatility underscores the vital role that secondary raw materials provided by the global recycling industry must play in stabilizing the market.”

Prof. Chalmin’s report “The End of the Waste Era …” will be launched at the Bureau of International Recycling’s Autumn Round-Table Sessions in Munich on 24 October and is the follow-up on a first survey published by the world recycling organisation in 2010.                                                                      

“Prof. Chalmin’s report notes that growing market volatility leads to greater commodity market destabilisation, something which BIR has long stressed can be combated through increased transparency on prices and more comprehensive data,” says BIR President Björn Grufman. “A major challenge for BIR and officials throughout the world in 2012 will be to collect more data concerning the capabilities of ‘the urban mine – recycling operations that now supply for sectors over of raw materials -- so that we can deploy these resources efficiently.”

BIR’s Secretary General Francis Veys says the Chalmin report also highlights a new risk to global commodity trading. “A mix of protectionism and anti-dumping regulations have emerged, particularly in the European and American markets,” he states. “This is in part a reaction to restrictive trade legislation in some of the BRIC countries. BIR’s members are committed to finding a ‘middle way’ that won’t strangle supplies of recycled commodities.”

Professor Chalmin, BIR President Björn Grufman and the divisional Presidents will be available to answer questions during the press conference.

More information on other speakers at the Round-Table Sessions is given in the attached list.


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