The Zimbabwe Institute of Foundries (ZIF) has implored the Government to impose a ban on scrap metal exports immediately.
This comes amid reports that approximately 30 local foundry and steel recycling firms have shut down due to a severe shortage of feedstock and high scrap metal prices.
The high scrap metal prices on the international market have resulted in a rise in the export of the materials even by big firms therefore negatively impacting the operations of the local foundry sector.
ZIF says Zimbabwe has about 50 small to large foundry plants and the steel recycling industry has the potential of generating US$1.5 billion annually.
Speaking during an interview with Business Weekly on Thursday last week, ZIF spokesperson Dosman Mangisi said the shortage of scrap has pushed the price up to between US$250 and US$300 from US$80 per tonne in the past two years. He added:
We are appealing to the Government to ban exports of scrap to save the industry…
Other countries such as South Africa and China have put curbs on scrap exports.
We have scrap from the National Railway of Zimbabwe going to South Africa, Why?
Mangisi said a summit has been scheduled for 17 and 18 March 2022 at the Harare Institute of Technology to address some of the challenges faced by the foundry sector.
He said the sector, which used to employ about 30 000 people, supplies 60 per cent of its products to mining companies, with the remainder largely used in the agriculture and construction industries.
Mines, rural areas, merchants who collect the scrap from ordinary people and car scrap yards are the major sources of scrap metals, Mangisi further stated.