SHANGHAI, Mar. 12 (SMM) –
According to China Customs, China imported 17,437 mt of primary aluminum during January, down 62.6% YoY, but up 21.2% MoM. The SHFE/LME aluminum price ratio in January was down from the 7.2-7.4 level in December, but the amount of aluminum ingot imported for processing trade actually increased. SMM expects China’s aluminum ingot imports to fall slightly in February since the SHFE/LME aluminum price ratio moved lower in January.
According to China Customs, China exported 230,000 mt of aluminum semis during January, up 15% YoY, but unchanged MoM. Aluminum extrusion exports hit 67,000 mt, also up 8.47% YoY. Aluminum plate, sheet and strip exports were 95,000 mt, up 15.93% YoY, while aluminum foil exports rose to 59,000 mt, up 22.92% YoY. The SHFE/LME aluminum price ratio fell during January from December’s 7.2-7.4 range, which made it favorable for aluminum semis exports. SMM believes aluminum semis exports became profitable again during January and that many Chinese processors received additional orders from oversea customers just before the Chinese New Year holiday.