Steel shot shortage as China shuts down factories, more market shocks to follow as Government clampdown on pollution takes bite. A shortage in steel shot could be the tip of the iceberg as the reality of China’s clampdown on pollution takes effect. And with the stark reality that nobody knows how long factories will be shut down means price increases are highly likely across almost everything coming out of China. T&G was alerted to the situation by Francesco Spilotros of Clever, Srl: “All the factories have been closed down by Chinese Government due to environmental regulations, in the attempt to solve the pollution issue, and we don’t know when they will be able to restart. This is causing a lack of steel shot on the market, and a big rise in price.” And inevitably he continued: "For this reason, we are obliged to adjust our prices to new Steel Shot quotations received.” Stephen Dales, owner of the Steel Shot Company, a leading supplier of steel shot to Europe, has confirmed the situation: “There is a supply glitch and it’s unfortunate that it has started right at the start of the game season. However, we do have supply and we are fulfilling orders, albeit with a limited supply at the moment. “I am told by our suppliers that this is a temporary situation. The factories have been shut down while they are audited by the Government. At this very moment I am awaiting news myself as to when they will reopen.” T&G spoke to a high profile agent in China, who for obvious reasons does not want to be identified. He told us: “The Government is clamping down on pollution and really it has no choice. Some of the cities are so bad that people really cannot be expected to live there. “What they seem to be doing is descending on a region and shutting all factories down. They are then audited and if they pass, then they can re-open. “Ultimately, it looks like the Government wants to create industrial zones and all manufacturing will be moved to those. They are being pretty ruthless about this, and factories cannot re-open until they have cleaned up their act. “Anything to do with steel, anodising, dying, metal production and electronics is very heavily affected and there will be major supply shocks in months to come – which inevitably leads to increases in price.”
Sales of junior fishing licences across England and Wales, have increased by 25.7 per cent from 2016/17. The fishing licence, which is now free for 12 to16 year olds, shows figures increased from 52,117 at the end of 2016/17 to 65,487 as of 21 August 2017. The figures will be welcomed by the trade, which had previously shown a massive decline in the amount of youngsters going fishing. The rise in sales figures was helped by last year’s changes to fishing licences which included making them free to anyone aged 12 to16. Kevin Austin, Head of Fisheries at the Environment Agency, said: “Children today have a wealth of technology at their fingertips, and coupled with the costs parents face, it’s easy to see why fewer children are enjoying outdoor activities. We’re really pleased to see that a growing number of young people are taking up the offer of a free junior licence, helping them to enjoy the great outdoors and this great sport. “Today’s children are the anglers of tomorrow. It’s important we attract them to the sport early and offering a free fishing licence is one way to achieve that. Not only does fishing offer great health and educational benefits, angling generates over £1 billion for the UK economy and creates over 37,000 full time jobs.” The free junior fishing licence is made possible as a result of income generated from adult fishing licence holders.