The name of this blog is Shanghai Scrap, and if you didn’t bother to read or visit Shanghai Scrap you might be excused for thinking that – instead of hosting a blog – shanghaiscrap.com actually hosts a Shanghai-based scrap trading company. Of course, you’d only make that error if you didn’t bother to look at the actual content available here.
So it was a bit of a surprise when – quite suddenly, over the last month – scrap traders from around the world began bombarding Shanghai Scrap (via the handy contact form) with offers to buy and sell scrap. For example, this afternoon I received:
Dear Sir: Our Company wants to import T-shirt Scrap from China to india. Please let us know the Email and contact nos of the company. Manoj ****
Just to be clear: yesterday, at the very time that Manoj sent his T-shirt inquiry, the most current post on Shanghai Scrap was concerned with the rising cost of potato chips. Could Manoj have failed to notice the photo of the bag of Lay’s? Did it suggest “Dirty T-shirts for sale?” in a way that I did not intend?
Or take this Pakistani example, also from today:
DEAR SIR DO YOU HAVE TITANIUM SHEET GRADE 2 CUT PIECES (LEFT OVER PIECES) OF 2MM,3MM IN ANY SIZE OR BIGGER THAN 8X8 INCHES, ITS LEFT OVER PIECES FROM NEW SHEET. WE MAKE SMALL INSTRUMENTS FROM THESE PIECES. SO PLEASE ARRANG IF YOU CAN. ANY SIZE WE WILL ACCEPT. FULL SIZE OF TITANIUM SHEET IS MUCH EXPENSIVE, SO WE USE SMALL PIECES. AT THE MOMENT WE WILL PURCHASE 40 KG IF PRICE IS REASONABLE BUT LATER WE WILL PURCHASE IN BIG QTY REGULARY. REGARDS.ZIA
Dear Zia: No, I don’t. But could I interest you in a bag of Lay’s?
Seriously, as of – I don’t know – only ten days ago (as opposed to several weeks ago with other traders), I’m suddenly bombarded with almost daily offers to ship scrap to Pakistan. If only I had some to ship! But what does it mean? Is there a heretofore unknown market for Chinese titanium in Pakistan (doubtful)? Or, as I suspect and sort of know, is Pakistan’s economic development accelerating enough that it now cannot meet its own metal resource needs, and must import from elsewhere (for the last several years, Karachi has been an important and leading destination for shipments of hazardous recyclables such as lead-acid batteries and old computers). As a result of Zia’s generous offer, and others like it, I now have friendly contacts other there who might help me to discern the situation more clearly, if I feel so inclined.
I should mention: I receive opportunities to buy scrap, too. For example, this friendly inquiry arrived yesterday:
We would like to introduce our self as leader company in plastic and textile
raw materials field in Saudi Arabia , and would like to establish business
relation with your esteemed company.
We can provide now : [thus followed a lengthy list of available plastic grades and quantities.]
Again, what about that photo of a Lay’s bag suggested to the Saudis that I was in the market for bales of plastic ribbon scrap? Beats me. But looked at in another way: who knew that the Saudis were generating mass quantities baled plastic ribbons? Just what kind of manufacturing is going on there, anyway? As of today, I’d kind of like to know.
Anyway, if it sounds like I dislike these emails – well, I don’t. In fact, I enjoy them. So keep them, coming, boys. I may not have any old T-shirts to sell (though, come to think of it … ) but I promise to pass along your info if I find someone who does.