China to Restart Copper Recycling Tax Rebate, Metals Group Says

China will reintroduce a rebate on a value-added tax this year for processing scrap copper to support domestic recyclers, an industry association said.

A 40 percent rebate on the 17 percent value-added tax has been approved by the finance ministry and will be announced in the first half, said Li Shilong, Vice President of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association’s recycling metal branch, citing talks with the government. A telephone call and a fax to the ministry went unanswered.

China ended the rebate in 2011. Restarting it may boost secondary metal supplies and scrap imports in China, the world’s biggest metals user. Copper imports fell to the lowest since January 2012 at 248,575 metric tons last month amid weak local demand and falling copper prices, customs data showed.

“The industry is suffering losses and we hope the rebate restart will help,” Li said today in Beijing. China previously gave as much as a 70 percent value-added tax rebate to scrap copper recyclers, he said.

Scrap copper imports fell last year amid a government campaign to stop illegal shipments, according to customs. Some imports were sent to recyclers in India, Brazil and Vietnam last year partly because of the plan, Li said.

China’s annual refined copper output from recycling scrap is about 2 million tons, Yoshihiro Nishiyama, a senior executive in the marketing department of Pan Pacific Copper Co., said in an interview on March 18.

Refined copper production in the country will grow 11 percent to 7.2 million tons this year as higher processing fees encourage smelters to treat concentrates, Zhu Wenjun, a Shanghai-based copper analyst at SMM Information & Technology Co., said last week.

— With assistance by Alfred Cang

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