Germany's international trade in non-ferrous scrap metals weakened substantially last year. Both import and export volumes decreased, according to recently released figures from the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). On the export side, the plunge in shipments to the People's Republic of China was particularly marked, which could be a consequence of tighter customs controls under the country's 2013 Green Fence initiative.
According to the preliminary Destatis statistics published at the end of February, Germany exported a total of around 922,600 tonnes of aluminium scrap and processing residues with a value of €1.14bn last year. That represent decline of 5.5 per cent compared with the prior year (976,400 tonnes, for €1.23bn). At the same time, 553,500 tonnes (2012: 577,100 tonnes) of aluminium scrap with a value of €627m were imported (2012: €678m). As in the year before, Germany was a net exporter of aluminium scrap.
For copper scrap, imports continued to exceed exports. Altogether, Germany exported around 506,300 tonnes of copper scrap valued at €1.56bn (2012: 529,100 tonnes for €1.97m). At around 185,100 tonnes and a value of €185,100 tonnes, around 37 per cent of all copper scrap exports were destined for China. Compared with the prior year, however, direct exports saw a 17.9 per cent slump.