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8th ISLC in Siem Reap Local Report Part 2 IRUNIVERSE Speaker Attracts Attention

 

Continued from the previous issue (8th ISLC in Siem Reap: Report from the field, Part 1: The age of recycled lead)

 

On the second day of the ISLC, the International Secondary Lead Conference in Siem Reap, Cambodia, IRUNIVERSE representative Tanamachi was the second speaker of the morning session. With a somewhat nervous look on his face, he spoke for 25 minutes about the history and current status of lead battery recycling in Japan. Perhaps due to the fact that the speech was significantly different from the originally planned draft, the approximately 200 participants in the audience seemed to be listening attentively to his speech. Incidentally, all speeches were given in English.

 

 

 

(Photo by Mr. Nakamura, Sankto)

 

 

The main points of the lecture were the low and stable LME lead market prices and the strong yen in the 1990s, the accompanying increase in imported batteries from overseas, and the market environment in which the market for recycled lead was limited to Japan only, resulting in a long period of winter for both recycled lead prices and battery scrap prices, and the illegal dumping of battery scrap becoming a social problem in 1994. He also talked about how the export of battery scrap, which began to gradually increase after 2000, ironically led the closed market to international prices, the period of large lead battery scrap exports to South Korea after 2010, and the complete cessation of lead battery scrap exports in 2018 due to the Basel Law revision.

 

(Photo by MSP Yoshida)

 

After 2019, the export of battery scrap will change to the export of bullion, and after 2022, other problems will emerge, such as illegal dismantling by Chinese recyclers and illegal export of nest lead (mostly from Malaysia, Cambodia, and Laos), and this year, the Chinese are expanding their influence and domestic lead smelters are facing a complete shortage of raw materials, an extremely serious shortage.

 

 

The participants reacted to this fact in a variety of ways.

 

For example, according to IPP, a lead smelter in Thailand, the import and export of lead battery scrap is actually banned in Thailand as it is in Japan, and the number of Chinese-affiliated collectors and dismantlers is increasing. Also, the price of lead battery scrap in Thailand was 50% of the LME.

 

A local Malaysian employee of a major Japanese trading company told us that although there are five legitimate companies with licenses to operate secondary lead refineries in Malaysia, the majority of companies without licenses are operating illegally at a significant rate. In addition, he said that the bullion produced in Malaysia is supplied to a lead battery manufacturer in the Philippines. He added that the Filipino battery makers use lead ingots produced by illegal operations without checking them.

 

In Malaysia, as in Thailand, the import of lead battery scrap is prohibited, but the trading company has approached the government to allow it.

 

There were also various responses, including a request for help from a Pakistani lead battery manufacturer looking for a Japanese battery scientist. A UK research firm also expressed interest, and was impressed with the understanding of the changes in lead flows in Japan since 2018.

 

Engitec, a leading battery recycling equipment company, also asked for cooperation in holding a seminar in Japan.

 

(photo by Mr. Yoshida of MSP with Mr. Willy of engitec)

 

Related articles: 8th ISLC in Siem Reap Local Report Part 1: The Age of Recycled Lead | MIRU (iru-miru.com)

Related articles: International Conference on Acid Batteries and Lead-acid Batteries ABC, ISLC to Finally Meet Face-to-Face! September 2023 in Cambodia

 

(iruniverse tanamachi&YH translated by S. Aoyama)

 

 

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