Strippers: Drinking Coca Cola With a Blindfold On

Selling Scrap Wire to Chinese (wire) Strippers?

Sometimes there is a really terrific end market which is all blue sky and sunshine.   A true model of fair trade recycling.  But it's impossible to match your supply exactly with the demand... you may have too much of something, and need a backup market.   Or you have too little of something, and cannot ban the buyer from trading with other people whose quality you don't control.
Recycling in a back alley

No one can ever have enough non-ferrous metal to dictate the copper market in China.

No one can keep their scrap copper from ending up in China.  Even if you sell it in the USA, its a sale or two away from Ningbo.

So, if you have clean copper wire, from yokes or degaussing coils (which shows you are demanufacturing TVs and CRT monitors, like a good guy), you are going to have to sell it directly or indirectly into a market that you cannot dictate the terms of.

Even if you visit your copper yoke buyer in Foshan, he may trade your load sideways at the port.  It's a commodity, things get bought and sold, and you don't know into whose hands your scrap non-ferrous will land.

If you sell to China directly, you are taking a risk that even your focus-material-free load is going to wind up unloaded at the same yard, surrounded by junk TVs (which probably were collected from Chinese households), and circuit boards and other focus materials.

If the yard buys from you and ALSO buys from your nasty bad USA competitor, the one you suspect deals in "toxics along for the ride", your sea containers are going to the same address.  If the buyer is then accused of being a nasty, brutish, and primitive wire burning operation, your defense is that you sold "clean commodities".
"Honey.." you say with your one phone call from the Chicago jailhouse.
"I was caught up in a raid of a gambling joint and strip house.  The police arrested EVERYBODY.  But I swear, I swear, I swear to you... I was drinking soda pop.  And playing solitaire.  And I wasn't anywhere even CLOSE to the strippers..."
You were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Or you sold copper to the wrong place at the wrong time.

Your copper buyer was (gasp) a broker.  Only a couple of people have enough clean copper to sell directly to a smelter, and even then it may sit in a yard and be resold.   "Brokers" and "traders" are not bad words, some of us are just more honest about the fact that ALL the scrap wire is sold to them if we don't strip the wire ourselves.

Every scrap dealer reading this knows what I'm talking about.  And that is why ISRI, as a whole, is against the "outing" of "exporters" and the general denigration and commie-scare tactics of the NGO Watchdogs.

We all sell plastic.  Even if you sell plastic to the best operation in Ningbo China, you don't know for sure they won't have a full warehouse and sell some surplus to a different scrap plastic buyer.  You don't know for sure that your clean load won't be sitting right next to a dirty load when the Customs Officials come in for their monthly, um, CCP fundraising.

And that is why the loudest no-exporters are the ones that wind up in the paper.   I won't mention them again, but there are some very big e-waste companies who have been very very very loud about being anti-Chinese, "no intact unit", anti-export.  They are the ones making the blue phone calls to their wives, clients, and stakeholders in the wee wee hours on Sunday, late for church.

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