Aluminium panel: Industry experts lay stress on responsible sourcing

“What lies ahead for the aluminium scrap industry?” Panellists at the Metal Recycling Confex predicted that demand for aluminium scrap will continue to rise in the coming years, with increased focus on decarbonisation and circular economy efforts.

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March 15 2023
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Ram Kailash Mahto, Chairman, GTC Group, the moderator, said the demand for aluminium is increasing in different sectors. “Worldwide, metal is finding newer applications in infrastructure,  construction, food and automobiles, and the packaging industry.” 

Daniel Gargan, Trader, Bluequest Resources AG, said with primary producers increasingly including recycled content, the demand for aluminium scrap is set to grow. It will also witness greater penetration, he added. 

Salman Abdulla, Executive Vice President, Emirates Global Aluminium, said key primary producers such as EGA are keen on procuring only those metals that have been sourced responsibly. He urged the recyclers to “up their game.”

Talking about China's restrictions on scrap trade, Dr. Salam Sharif, Chairman, Sharif Metals Group, said, “When the country opened its doors for international markets 25 years ago, the recycling rate was very low and there was a huge demand for raw materials from the industries.” With rapid urbanisation, China faced the greatest challenge of pollution. By way of mitigating environmental issues, it started to restrict the import of scrap, besides other measures. “From net importers, China has now become net exporters.”  

Gargan added that China’s doors are not completely shut. “Refined and quality scrap can be exported to the country.” 

Gargan highlighted the impact of the energy crisis in Europe on the prices of finished products. Mr. Sharif pointed out that aluminium recycling is the most energy-efficient industry. “Making recycled aluminium only takes around 5% of the energy needed to make new aluminium — reducing carbon emissions and saving money for businesses and end consumers,” he pointed out. The panellists later discussed the negative consequences of protectionism.