SHANGHAI, Mar. 26 (SMM) - According to China Customs, China imported 2.78 million mt of bauxite from Indonesia during February, down 25.25% YoY, but imports of Australian bauxite increased 11.76% YoY to 904,700 mt. China imported 1.89 million mt of bauxite from Australia during the first two months of this year, a gain of 28.54% YoY.
China imported 4.29 million mt of bauxite during February, down 6.14% YoY. YTD imports through February were 9.41 million mt, up 23.16% YoY.
China’s bauxite imports from Indonesia in February have yet to recover to the levels seen before export restrictions were imposed. Imports of Australian bauxite, in contrast, have risen considerably.
The Indonesian government has not sent any clear signals whether or not it will impose a complete ban on raw ore exports in 2014. In June 2012, the Indonesian government imposed a 20% export tax on bauxite and also required importers to build alumina plants in the country. No changes to this policy have been announced to date.
Traders in Shandong told SMM that they are able to import bauxite from Indonesian traders even if they don’t have plans to build alumina plants in the country. SMM was informed in early March that 55,000 mt of Indonesian bauxite is for sale in Longkou. This batch of bauxite contains 49% alumina, 7.12% silica and 12.71% water, with quotations reported at RMB 430/mt (excluding stevedore charges and port building charges)