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SMM Aluminum Products Imports & Exports Data Analysis in September 2012
Oct 29,2012 15:51CST
data analysis
Imports of bauxite from Australia and Indonesia fell sharply during September.

SHANGHAI, Oct. 29 (SMM)-



Imports of bauxite from Australia and Indonesia fell sharply during September. Imports from Indonesia were only 626,800 mt, down 33.7% MoM, and while Australian bauxite imports were also down to 877,400 mt, this was only a drop of 11.41% MoM. Domestic producers relying on imported bauxite are largely located in Shandong province and southwest China. Alumina producers in Shandong lowered operating rates due to thin profit margins, which lowered demand for imported bauxite. 
China imported 479,000 mt of alumina in September, up 52.16% MoM. YTD imports through September were 3.72 million mt, up 212.29% YoY.


SMM expects China’s alumina imports to remain high in 4Q since it still takes time for newly-added alumina capacity to come fully online and as cuts in domestic output have not yet be fully resumed.

Primary Aluminum
China imported 40,200 mt of primary aluminum during September, down 34.42% MoM, but up 270.46% YoY. The SHFE/LME aluminum price ratio remained above 8.0 throughout August and into early September and should have favored primary aluminum imports. However, high premiums for spot primary aluminum overseas and a single aluminum ingot import channel to China prevented primary aluminum in sufficient amounts from arriving in China. Severe primary aluminum oversupply in China is also depressing sales of imported aluminum ingot. A large proportion of imported aluminum ingot is now used in the processing trade using  imported materials.    

Aluminum Semis
According to China Customs, China exported 240,000 mt of aluminum semis during September, unchanged MoM, but up 4.35% YoY. The SHFE/LME aluminum price ratio was above 8.0 throughout August, unfavorable for aluminum semis exports, but sluggish domestic consumption and overcapacity of aluminum semis in domestic markets forced many domestic producers to turn to export markets. A recovery of US economy and emerging markets provide opportunities for domestic processors, but the high SHFE/LME aluminum price ratio is squeezing profits at exporters, so many domestic processors are trying to improve the quality of their products in order to increase profits.

China's bauxite imports in Sept
China alumina exports
China primary alumina imports

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