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Trash or resource? China's ban on scrap import jostles markets

Rise in metal prices could dent automakers' profits

Collected metal is unloaded at a recycling yard in Beijing, China.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- China is moving to curb a wide range of waste imports in response to the country's worsening pollution, causing spikes in some commodity prices and threatening to raise costs for a range of industries.

The government has announced plans to restrict the import of various kinds of waste, including scrap metal and wastepaper. Because the waste includes both recyclable material and unusable stuff, imports inevitably increase the amount of rubbish that has to be disposed of.

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