SHANGHAI, Jan. 8 (SMM) – SMM data shows that domestic alumina traded prices averaged RMB 2,598/mt in December 2012, down 1.96% from last January’s RMB 2,649/mt. In contrast, imported alumina prices rose to USD 331/mt from USD 311/mt, an increase of 6.43%.
Imported alumina prices were subject to LME aluminum prices. The surge in China’s alumina imports gave a boost to imported alumina prices. China imported 4.27 million mt of alumina from Australia during the first eleven months of 2012, up a staggering 163% YoY. The average CIF price was USD 349/mt in November. After deducting the USD 23/mt in freight and insurance premium, the FOB price was USD 326/mt, equivalent to 16.75% of average LME aluminum price in November.
SMM notes that domestic alumina prices will continue to track the movement of aluminum prices in 2013 and that weak aluminum prices will weigh on alumina prices. India National Aluminum Company (Nalco) signed long-term contracts in 2012 for the exports of 630,000 mt of alumina in two batches in 2013 at 16.56% and 16.07% of LME aluminum price on a FOB basis. With China’s alumina imports staging remarkable growth and with Nalco’s long-term alumina price for 2013 as reference, FOB price for Australian alumina is expected to remain strong in 2013.