SHANGHAI, Jun. 25 (SMM) – China Customs data show that China imported 6.15 million mt of bauxite in May, down 0.41% YoY. YTD imports through May amounted to 26.72 million mt, up 10.5% YoY.
China imported 3.775 million mt of bauxite from Indonesia in May, down 30.9% YoY, and 17.39 million mt during January-May, also down 14.7% YoY. China’s imports of Australian bauxite, however, surged 99.02% YoY to 1.41 million mt in May, and grew 50.24% YoY to 5.42 million mt during the first five months of this year.
China’s bauxite suppliers have diversified. China sourced bauxite only from Indonesia, Australia, India and Malaysia during January-May, 2012. Besides above-mentioned countries, China began to import bauxite from Ghana, Fiji, Guinea, Brazil and Guyana this year, with monthly import exceeding 30,000 mt during the first five months.
SMM believes Indonesia’s restrictions on raw ore exports and higher requirement on the qualifications of importers are the main reasons why China imported bauxite from more countries and imported less from Indonesia. This trend will continue until the Indonesian government loosens its restrictions on bauxite exports.