SHANGHAI, Mar. 13 (SMM) – According to China Customs, China imported 350,000 mt of alumina in February. YTD imports through February were 840,000 mt, up 6.2% YoY.
The highest and lowest FOB price for Australian alumina during January-February were USD 352/mt and USD 333/mt, respectively. The FOB price average USD 336/mt in January, and USD 349/mt in February, up 8.2% YoY and 9.7% YoY, respectively.
The opening price for the exchange rate of RMB against the US dollar on February 28, 2013 was 1.4% higher than that on February 29, 2012. SMM believes the RMB’s rising purchasing power is the main contributor to Chinese aluminum producers’ rising alumina imports.
Domestic aluminum smelters will maintain current alumina imports provided that prices for West Australian alumina continue to drop. It’s worth noting that the amount of alumina at warehouses in bonded area rose due to rising alumina prices in middle and late February, so imported alumina flowing into domestic markets failed to grow significantly. Trading activity at ports became increasingly depressing due to higher alumina prices (including tax), pushing up inventories at ports.