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Lead Battery Scrap Update 2023 #6 Metal Lead Scrap Exports Exceed 100,000 Tons in the First Half of the Year

As reported in our previous report, the lead battery scrap market is now also being pulled by foreign companies, and the lead battery scrap market is constantly rising due to their buying. In the Kanto area, the price per kilogram is 75-80 yen, and grid lead is over 120 yen.

 

However, on the other hand, there are reports of illegal dismantling and smelting going on all over the country. In Mie Prefecture, for example, there are rumors that there are no environmental countermeasures for air quality and wastewater discharge.

Japanese lead smelters are furious, saying, "It is unfair that we are forced to compete with such a lax company under the same standards, while we are doing so at a high cost.

 

 

If those are true, it is a manifestly criminal act. We asked METI about this matter. According to METI, the first prerequisite is that the police and the public health department act on a report from a citizen. At that time, if the illegal act is confirmed and the person is caught red-handed, he or she can be arrested, but if not, he or she cannot be arrested. Also, if they are buying scrap for value, dismantling the batteries, and refining the metal, then there is no legal problem. Of course, this is only possible if the sulfuric acid solution and other chemicals are properly disposed of. The above is a summary of METI's response.

 

 

As a result, the amount of metal lead scrap exported, which is believed to contain lead scrap, has clearly and drastically increased. Incidentally, according to the person in charge at Kasumigaseki, if the lead scrap is washed clean and sulfuric acid is poured out, and of course the wastewater is treated properly afterwards, the lead scrap can be exported as metal lead scrap.

 

 

(CY)

2018  1649 tons

2019  2528 tons

2020  2185 tons

2021  3966 tons

2022  11,971 tons

 

Last year it reached a record high, and this year 2023, through June, it has already reached 10,568 tons, equal to the amount exported during the last year. Compared to the same period of the previous year, this is a 3.5-fold increase, which is a dramatic increase.

At this pace, exports of metallic lead scrap could increase to 20,000 tons per year. This would also pose a considerable threat to domestic lead smelters.

 

(iruniverse yt by translated by G・Mochizuki)

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