SHANGHAI, Jul. 30 (SMM) –
China imported 6.08 million mt of bauxite during June. YTD imports through June totaled 32.71 million mt, up 29.75% YoY, according to China Customs.
China’s imports of Indonesian bauxite during 1H 2013 rose 2.95% YoY to 21.395 million mt. Imports of Australian bauxite jumped by 56.99% YoY to 6.68 million mt, and imports of Indian bauxite hit 3.43 million mt, up 3.19 million mt from the same period last year.
China has now begun to source bauxite from Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, Fiji and Brazil to minimize the risks of shortages from any one country.
Chinese producers stepped up imports of Indonesian bauxite and began to purchase bauxite from other countries following the announcement by the Indonesian government that it will restrict raw ore exports in 2014. Bauxite suppliers in Indonesia also ramped up exports, pushing up China’s bauxite imports.
China’s alumina imports in June totaled 91,100 mt, down 70.26% YoY, and the lowest monthly import volume in almost two years. YTD imports through June were 1.65 million mt, also down 33.18% YoY.
China imported 18,400 mt of primary aluminum during June, down 53.07% YoY. TYD imports through June totaled 99,500 mt, a drop of 66.87% YoY. High premiums for overseas primary aluminum and import tariffs squeezed margins at importers. In addition, falling domestic aluminum prices also deterred Chinese buyers from importing.
China exported 270,000 mt of aluminum semis during June, flat with the same period last year, but YTD exports through June were up 4.23% YoY to 1.48 million mt. Export orders at domestic aluminum processors were down due to anti-dumping investigations, while falling profits for some aluminum products also deterred some Chinese processors from exporting.