In for a rough ride

2015 was not a good year for the non-ferrous metals industry. This fact was the topic of discussion on several occasions, especially at the BIR conference in Prague last autumn. The question constantly asked was: How low can it get? Many suspect that 2016 could bring a new definition of low.

Ildar Neverov of Steelway Limited reports that there are no good signs coming from Russia. Since the European Commission and Turkey have introduced anti-dumping sanctions for some metal products coming from China and Russia, it could lead to a ban on scrap exports as a response from Russia, he explains. With very high central bank interest rates and an unstable currency, Neverov states that „exportation of scrap is not a good business option these days“.

Like many other countries, India is also feeling the pressure of uncertain global markets, as Dhawal Shah from Metco Marketing explains. However, due to the high growth rate and the huge consumer base, it may be a little easier to do better for any industry. The country is awaiting the annual budget, which will be published by the end of February. Shah also points out that the government has granted a mandate to establish the first auto shredder in the country. Taking advantage of the low oil prices, the government has made some savings, which are intended for investment in infrastructure projects. According to Shah, this could lead to growing demand for steel and other metals.

Obviously, the Middle East is one of the regions that suffers from low oil prices the most. According to Ibrahim Aboura of Aboura Metals FZCO, Saudi Arabia‘s budget deficit was almost completely due to falling oil prices. However, the scrap business has not been affected so badly. „Despite slowing economies and falling commodities prices, non-ferrous markets in the Middle East have been trading healthy volumes at high levels,“ Aboura explains. Although orders from Asia have dropped, he points out, higher demand has come from India, Europe and the USA. „India remains an important market for us and will continue to play a vital role.“

The full report is available for members on

All persons quoted are board members of BIR‘s non-ferrous metals division, unless otherwise noted.


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