US plastic scrap exports; plastic units closed down; US company challenged over recycling claim; European Commission calls for investigation into trade practices by steel manufacturers in China and Taiwan
US plastic scrap exports up 9%
The Census Bureau’s latest figures show that the US exports of plastic scrap jumped 9% to reach 680,000 tonnes in the first four months of 2014. The overall value surged 6.5% year-on-year at more than $295m (£173m). China was the leading international market for US plastic scrap, with purchases up almost 7% to around $140m on January-April 2013. Shipment values plummeted to Hong Kong (-7% to $62m) and Mexico (-5% to $ 5m), while rose to Canada (+1.9% to $25m), India (+3.2% to $19m) and Indonesia (+125% to $15m).
Industrial units in Delhi closed over illegal plastic recycling
India-based North Delhi Municipal Corporation has sealed 30 industrial units for allegedly illegally storing and recycling plastic in the Narela Zone of Delhi. The owner or occupants of such units have been sent notices asking to cease unauthorised activities such as storing, segregating, recycling and burning of plastic or rubber waste in areas such as Nangloi, Mundka, Tikri Kalan and Ghevra, among others.
Qingdao Decheng Mining sued for missed payments
Qingdao Decheng Mining and its parent company are being sued by Shanxi Coal International Energy Group Co over missed payments. Six clients are being sued over a total of more than $177m (£104m) in missed payments. Of that total, $120.4m of the overdue payments were in dollars.
Project to support cotton sector launched
A project to support cotton sector (SCP) has been launched in Ivory Coast. The project intends to boost productivity and market access while backing cooperative organisations in Poro, GBEKE, Gontougo, and Bagoue of Hambol regions. The project’s ultimate goal is to pave way for funding mechanisms to facilitate farmers’ access to technologies. The SCP also encompasses the setting up of a programme of rehabilitation and maintenance of roads in the cotton and cashew producing regions. The SCP would also help in consolidating the recovery of the country’s cotton sector.
Action over recycling claims
A recycled products company has been taken to task by the federal government for making allegedly unsubstantiated recycled content statements. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that California’s American Plastic Lumber (APL) had falsely led consumers to believe its products were made “virtually all out of post-consumer recycled content such as milk jugs and detergent bottles.” An investigation into the company’s production between June 2011 and June 2013 found that products “contained less than 79% post-consumer content, on average.”
Under a proposed settlement with APL, the FTC requires the company to make recycled content claims, especially those involving post-consumer material, only when they “can be substantiated by competent and reliable science.” In February of this year the FTC took similar action against Wisconsin-based N.E.W. Plastics.
Tax dispute setback for Mongolian copper mine
Canadian miner Turquoise Hill, in which UK-based Rio Tinto holds a 50.8% stake has filed a dispute notice with the Mongolian Govt., following a recent audit report with allegations of unpaid taxes, penalties and disallowed entitlements connected with the initial development of Oyu Tolgoi, a global copper resource worth £3.6bn.
A 60-day period has been allowed during which Turquoise Hill and the Mongolian government could reach a negotiated settlement. Failing a 60-day period for the Mongolian Govt. and Turquoise Hill to attain a mutual settlement, the dispute could be subject to international arbitration, which would mean further delays to the Oyu Tolgoi project. The company has been forced to reduce its anticipated output to 135,000 metric tons and 160,000 tons of copper in concentrates for 2014.
Wall Street Journal
EU questions stainless steel imports from China and Taiwan
Responding to the complaints brought in by the European steel industry group, Eurofer, the European Commission has called for an investigation of unfair trade practices by steel manufacturers in China and Taiwan. According to EU, preliminary evidences reveal that a sharp increase in import volume from China and Taiwan at unfairly low prices have bruised the European steel manufacturers.
Import of cold-rolled flat stainless steel from the two countries in EU was worth a £607bn in 2013, a steep ten times as that in 2002. Eurofer director general,Gordon Moffat says ” China has built up huge capacities that are economically unjustified. Their increased output cannot be absorbed domestically. As a result they are flooding the markets which are still unprotected like the EU.”
Wall Street Journal
CSN to bid for Severstal, US
Brazilian steelmaker CSN will participate in a private bidding process, aiming to acquire the US operations of the Russian steelmaker Severstal. Known as Severstal North America, the company’s US operations consists of two steel mills in Michigan and Mississipp and are worth £882m.
“As part of this process, evaluations and studies related to the feasibility of referred operation are in progress, aiming at a potential submission of an indicative acquisition proposal,” CSN’s board stated.