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17. November 2008

Malaysia - Export ban on scrap iron lifted

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government has lifted the export ban on scrap iron, effective a week from now.

International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said this followed a request by industry players who had stocks of scrap iron piled up over the last few months due to the plunge in global prices.

“So, we’re lifting it, we are allowing them (local players) to sell and dispose of these stocks,” he said after announcing the latest slew of Government measures to address the impact of the global economic slowdown on Malaysia’s trade and industry.

“Administratively, it will take one or two days but I think we can do it within a week,” he said, adding that the move would ease the problem of cash flow among players, which would help the industry move forward.

Asked to comment, Perwaja Holdings Bhd chief executive officer Henry Pheng said the company would not directly benefit from or be affected by the lifting of export ban on scrap metal.

“But my father’s (Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah) private company the Kin Kee Group, which is one of the biggest scrap iron dealers in Malaysia, is set to enjoy the lifting of the ban,” Pheng said.

Normally, Kin Kee collects about 30,000 tonnes of scrap metal per month. The local scrap metal price is now at par with international price at US$180 per tonne, he added.

Puspha Metal Sdn Bhd marketing manager Limin Kamaruddin said: “Even with the lifting of the export ban, we are not keen to export our aluminium scrap metal because of high demand from foundries in Malaysia.

“There are plenty of ‘hungry’ foundries out here. In fact, our aluminium scrap metal stock is zero right now.”

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