SHANGHAI, Feb. 19 (SMM) – According to China Customs, China imported 490,000 mt of alumina during January 2013, up 8.89% YoY, and 25.64% MoM. Restocking by Chinese aluminum smelters ahead of the Chinese New Year contributed to the YoY growth of China’s alumina imports.
In February, tight supplies of Australian alumina from storm and flood and rising LME aluminum prices pushed up the FOB price of Australian alumina. Domestic alumina prices, on the other hand, were stable at RMB 2,500-2,650/mt. Alumina producers reliant on imported bauxite began to restart production as bauxite imports have rebounded. Domestic newly-built alumina capacity is progressively coming online, easing tight supplies caused by aluminum smelters replenishing stocks before the holiday.
Expanding price spread between domestic and imported alumina caused alumina inventories at ports to grow. Trading volumes of alumina at ports declined considerably from late January to early February.
With supply of domestic alumina growing and imported alumina prices rising, SMM expects China’s alumina imports to fall in the future.