Japan Waste Battery Export Halves

Japanese export of waste battery, which is material for lead ingot, halved fro the peak in 2005. The export to Vietnam and Hong Kong dropped to 4,000 tonnes in May compared with 8,000 tonnes in June 2005 when Japanese major lead maker increased the purchase price along with the importers’ restriction for import. However, the less availability of waste battery limits domestic lead smelting when Mitsubishi Materials reduces the ingot output by around 10% from the original plan and Toho Zinc increases the consumption of concentrate. Mitsubishi Materials produces the ingot with waste battery at wholly owned subsidiary, Hosokura Metal Mining in Miyagi. The firm produced averaged 1,180 tonnes per month in April and May due to less availability of waste battery though the firm planed to reduce the output by 18% to 7,812 tonnes in April-September from same period of 2005 or monthly 1,302 tonnes. The output is 10% lower than the original plan. The largest maker of Toho Zinc produces the ingot at Chigirishima Refinery in Hiroshima. The firm plans to reduce the output by 1% to 48,000 tonnes in April-September from same period of 2005. The output is apparently in line with the original plan but the firm increases the concentrate rate to 60% due to less availability of waste battery. Mitsui Mining & Smelting’s lead refinery, Kamioka Mining & Smelting depends all of the material on waste battery. The firm produces the ingot at 1-2% lower than planed 31,500 tonnes for April-September. The firm also said the firm manages to secure waste battery. Estimated waste battery export was 8,252 tonnes for Vietnam and Hong Kong in June 2005, according to Ministry of Finance. The export volume decreased to 4,132 tonnes in May 2006 when domestic lead makers increased the purchase price and the largest importer of Vietnam restricts the import.