SHANGHAI, Sept. 23 (SMM) -- According to China Customs, China’s imports of bauxite were 3.85 million mt during August, up 54.94% YoY, and up 2.9% compared with July’s 3.74 million mt. YTD imports from January through August were 28.30 million mt, up 44.62% YoY.
China’s imports of bauxite in August were mainly from Indonesia, Australia, India and Germany. Imports of bauxite from Indonesia reached 2.98 million mt, accounting for 77.48% of total bauxite imports, down nearly 170 kt MoM. It is worth noting that China imported 126.6 kt from India during August, and China’s total imports from India reached 488.2 kt from January to August, up 57.21% YoY.
In early September, rumors report that Indonesia will restrict bauxite exports, but based on continuously growing China’s imports of bauxite and market estimates about the construction progress of Indonesia’s alumina producers, there is little chance Indonesia will restrict bauxite exports during the remainder of 2011.
SMM believes market demand for alumina will remain robust given high operating rates at domestic aluminum producers, continuous commissioning of new aluminum capacity and supply shortage of domestic high-grade ore, which also directly drive up operating rates at alumina producers with imported bauxite as raw material. In addition, SMM predicts bauxite imports will remain high during the remainder of 2011 along with further commissioning of domestic aluminum capacity.