SHANGHAI, Jul. 25 (SMM) – China exported 76,779 mt of anhydrous aluminum fluoride in H1, 2013, up 35% YoY. Artificial cryolite exports, however, fell 3% YoY to 9,953 mt. Fluoride salt exports totaled 86,732 mt, an increase of 29% YoY, according to China Customs.
The export price of anhydrous aluminum fluoride averaged USD 1,233/mt in H1, down 19% YoY. The average export price of artificial cryolite, in contrast, rose 4% YoY to USD 916/mt.
Anhydrous aluminum fluoride is mainly used by aluminum smelters. Aluminum producers bought less anhydrous aluminum fluoride against depressed aluminum prices and lackluster downstream demand, forcing domestic anhydrous aluminum fluoride producers to ramp up exports.
Artificial cryolite is used in not only aluminum industry, but also glass and chemical sectors. Given the limited margins in overseas market, Chinese producers preferred to sell in domestic market.
Some aluminum fluoride producers suspended production to support prices in the first half of this year, and new aluminum capacity will continue to come online for the remainder of the year. This will help alleviate overcapacity in the aluminum fluoride sector. Cryolite demand from aluminum producers will also pick up, precluding any substantial uptick in cryolite exports.