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The current global crisis has negatively impacted Jamaica’s scrap metal trade, resulting in reduced demand for the product overseas, Industry, Investment, and Commerce Minister, Karl Samuda has said.
Speaking at a media briefing at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on October 24, Mr. Samuda informed that the crisis has left many dealers “stuck with products” purchased, which they are unable to export.”We are seeing a dramatic reduction in the sale of scrap metal, which has implications for our foreign exchange (earnings) and our balance of payments,” the Minister stated.
In light of this, Mr. Samuda advised that he will be meeting with representatives of the trade next week to discuss the prevailing situation, in order to determine how best the Ministry can assist the sector’s stakeholders.
“We are going to hold meetings with those who have complied with our regulations, and who are properly registered and operating in a professional manner. We stand ready, willing, and able to work with them, so that they can get past this period of slowing down. We will have to step in and see what we can do,” the Minister said, noting that, in general, the industry is “doing a good job.”
In June, activities in the sector, inclusive of exportation, were suspended after Mr. Samuda raised concerns regarding what he described then as “illegal activities that now pose a major threat to the economic development of the country and the disruption of essential services.” These primarily related to reports of rampant theft of essential infrastructure for sale in the trade.
Activities subsequently resumed in July, after meetings between the Ministry and stakeholders yielded an agreement regarding streamlining of the sector. Jamaica earned some US$200 million from scrap metal exports in 2007.