Posted on 11/06/2008 in category F & N-F Materials



Brussels, 11thJune 2008

2008World Recycling Convention &

BIR’s60thAnniversary Celebration

MonteCarlo, 2-4 June 2008

Non-FerrousMetals Division:

CommodityResearch Unit to monitor scrap movements

“The era of cheap scrap haslongpassed,” declared BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division President RobertStein of US-based Alter Trading in his opening address to awell-attended divisional meeting in Monte-Carlo. “The need formetal units is - and will be - strong for the foreseeable future.Strategically-minded consumers and fabricators will do well to takenote that the supply side of this industry will dominate its economicmodel for years to come.”

In recognition of theimportance ofunderstanding trends in the international flow of scrap metal, MrStein revealed that his divisional board had voted to engage theservices of the Commodity Research Unit to help the industry monitormore closely the movement of its products. This would serve as areporting tool and as a means of deciding “where the emphasis ofour efforts needs to be placed now and in the future”.

Reviewing current globalmarketconditions, Paul Coyte of Hayes Metals in New Zealand drew particularattention to discussion of a 60% power consumption surcharge in SouthAfrica which would have a potentially “massive” impact on themetals sector.

Meanwhile, the recentearthquake inChina’s Sichuan province had disrupted production of lead and zincsuch that “prices could potentially spike in the short to mediumterm”.

The meeting in Monte-Carlofeatured anumber of guest presentations, led off by London Metal Exchange’sChief Executive Martin Abbott. He argued that “volatility isinherent in commodity marketplaces” and was not attributable toexchanges, as some people had contended. “We do not create themarket - we reflect the market,” Mr Abbott insisted, pointing outthat non-exchange traded commodities were often “even more volatilethan on-exchange products”.

Mr Abbott went on toconfirm that theLME was “a long way down the road” with its “very seriousstudy” into the possibility of introducing cobalt and molybdenumcontracts, adding that an announcement on this would be made withinthe next few months.

According to Ujjwal Munjal,CEO ofmotorised vehicle specialist Rockman Industries of India, hiscountry’s comparatively low per capita consumption of metals“cloaks immense potential”. A significant proportion of thepopulation consumed “virtually zero” but would become moresubstantial metal users over the next five to 10 years, hemaintained. By way of example, he suggested India’s aluminiumdemand would climb 8-9% per annum while the country’s copperconsumption growth would easily outstrip the world average.

Thomas Tumoscheit, DirectorEuropeanMetals Group of Alcoa Europe, noted that his company’s annualaluminium scrap consumption had exceeded 1 million tonnes for thefirst time ever in 2007. Having underlined the need for suppliers toprovide scrap of a consistent grade and quality, he confirmed thathis company preferred to rely on long-term partnerships.

The continuing discussionof when awaste ceases to be a waste provided the basis for the presentationfrom Everard van der Straten, Deputy Administrator atMetallo-Chimique NV of Belgium. In particular, he pointed to tradeconcerns over disclosure of the names of suppliers and end consumerson the controversial Annex VII document.


For further information pleasecontact: 
Elisabeth Christ
BIR Communications Director
Tel: + 32 2 627 57 70