Recently, the WTO issued a ruling against China's restrictions on exports of nine raw materials, confirming that China has cancelled minimum export price requirement policy, but ruling that China’s export tariffs and export quota measures for nine raw materials are inconsistent with China's commitment and WTO rules and fail to meet the requirements of exception terms including protecting exhaustible natural resources.
According to SMM sources, as China’s aluminum industry developed rapidly in recent years, alumina capacity grew significantly in response, improving demand for bauxite. Domestic bauxite supply can not meet alumina production needs, and China needs to import large amounts of bauxite from Indonesia and other countries every year, with bauxite imports in 2011 even hitting 44.85 million mt, up 49.1% from 2010. On the contrary, no bauxite was exported in recent years.
In summary, the WTO ruled that China’s restrictions on bauxite exports do not comply with WTO rules. If the bauxite export policy is relaxed later, there is still no more bauxite for exporting amid bauxite supply shortage in China, so any impact from WTO ruling on China’s bauxite market should be limited.