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Thursday, Jan 06, 2005

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Metal scrap prices rise on import curbs

Dhimant Bhatt

Metal scraps being melted in a furnace in a manufacturing unit in Kerala. — K.K.Mustafah

Mumbai , Jan. 5

NON-FERROUS metal scrap prices have increased by 6-8 per cent in the last two months following the drop in import of scrap into the country.

Imports have fallen due to changes in the import procedure, traders said.

In October 2004, the DGFT changed the import policy of ferrous and non-ferrous metals permitting imports only in shredded and compacted form.

The customs department has been authorised to inspect 100 per cent shipments of metal scrap.

These restrictions have been imposed in the aftermath of an explosion it the premises of a scrap importer at Ghaziabad that resulted in the death of 10 persons.

Ready prices of copper, aluminium and brass scraps had increased by Rs 8-10 per kg in last two months, sources said.

In Mumbai, copper sheet cutting has increased from Rs 123 to Rs 130 a kg and brass sheet cutting to Rs 171 a kg from Rs 162.

Aluminium utensil has moved up to Rs 85 a kg from Rs 83.

"Metal scrap market has turned volatile these days due to import restrictions. Price fluctuates every day. Price fluctuation, say in copper scrap, is 10 per cent instead of 1-2 per cent earlier in normal days," a leading scrap dealer said.

"There is a shortage in the market. Consumption is increasing but inflows of imported scraps have not been increased. It is difficult to find out exact inflows of metals scrap into the country but it has been reduced by roughly 25-30 per cent last two months," Mr Jayant Ranka, President of Bombay Non-ferrous metals and scrap Merchants' Association, told Business Line.

"All small scale units operating in the interior parts of the country such as Moradabad, Aligurh, Agra, Jamnagar and Jalandhar are very badly affected due to scrap shortage," Mr Rohit Shah, President of the Bombay Metal Exchange, said.

Non-ferrous metal trade is currently facing serious problems of clearance of consignments leading to delays and loss for importers.

Port charges levied for the delay will affect the importers due to the implementation of 100 per cent inspection, he said.

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