Scrap or Not: Raw Material Exports to China Have REAL Value

Sunday, October 14, 2007 7:08
Posted in category The Big Picture
Comments Off on Scrap or Not: Raw Material Exports to China Have REAL Value

Several years ago around the Chinese New Year holiday I became keenly aware of just how liquid and valuable scrap metals were as one of the drivers responsible for hauling our Aluminum plates showed up a day late and a ton short.

More recently I heard of someone whose asked his cab driver (in China) why there were car seats in the middle of the street every 100 meters or so. The answer… the man hole covers had been stolen.

Part in parcel with China has been the rise of commodity prices across the board. Metals, woods, plastics, and other raw inputs have all seen increased pricing, and for some this dynamic has provided for a very lucrative business model: Importing scrap railroad ties, man hold covers, wiring, computers, plastic bottles, paper… you name it. If it can be recycled and put back into another product… there is a value for it in China.

and it wasn’t until recently when I read that a football game in the U.S. had to be canceled due to the field lighting wires being stripped out, that I realized that one of China’s newest imports is one that government may not want…

According to another article in Times Online, there have also been a lot of thefts in the U.K.

In November last year a one-and-a-half tonne bronze statue of a soldier was stolen from the South African War Memorial in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Thieves are thought to have used an angle grinder to cut the statue, which dates from 1899, from its plinth

In October last year a statue, Dancing Girl, by William Theed was stolen from a Tunbridge Wells park

In January last year a sculpture by Lynn Chadwick, the late British artist, became the twentieth theft of a large bronze in and around the capital in the past six months

In the grounds of a London university thieves carved through the legs of a figure in The Watchers, by Chadwick, and carried it off during the night

The Reclining Figure, pictured, was stolen from the Henry Moore Foundation in Hertfordshire, on December 15

Police are concerned that artworks that had been regarded as too difficult to move are now being routinely stolen

Det Sgt Vernon Rapley, head of the Metropolitan Police Arts and Antiques Unit, said statues could be stolen for scrap

Fortunately for us, we got another ton of AL from our supplier right away, and no real harm was caused. However, it is only a matter of time before someone gets really hurt from a railroad tie gone missing, a man hole left open, or some exposed wires being left in the open.

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