Sri Lanka restricts scrap metal exports

Nation’s government cites need to boost domestic metals production.

The government of Sri Lanka reportedly has banned the export of ferrous scrap and several types of nonferrous scrap, including copper, brass, aluminum and stainless steel.

The online report on the Colombo, Sri Lanka-based EconomyNext website says such exports could still occur following a recommendation of the Industrial Development Board and other related agencies, according to the Sri Lankan government information office.

Increasing regulations and licensing generally paves the way for corruption in the licensing authorities critics say.

The export ban is being made to boost domestic production of industries that use the scrap as raw material, the cabinet was told.

The export ban is implemented to depress the prices of scrap metal to below world market levels and deny the real price to collectors and give an effective subsidy to industries that use them including large steel companies. Lower prices may also discourage collection.

Sri Lanka has high steel prices which critics say has made it more expensive for the society as a hold to build a house, may lead to scrimping on steel which lead to building collapses and make tourism and exports in general uncompetitive by raising construction costs.

Sri Lanka has not sold or bought enough ferrous, aluminium or copper scrap in 2020 to show up in data gathered by the United States Department of Commerce and published by the United States Geological Survey.

The Washington-based World Bank lists Sri Lanka’s largest trading partners as including the European Union, the United States, India, China, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.