SHANGHAI, Oct. 24 (SMM) - China’s imports of bauxite soared in September as alumina producers accelerated stockpiling of the raw material before Indonesia’s possible ban on exports in 2014.
Inbound shipments surged by 348.36% year-on-year (YoY) to 7.59 million tonnes in September, and totaled 53.49 million tonnes during the first nine months, up 76.42% from a year ago, according to China Customs.
A lion’s share – 66.9% - of China’s bauxite imports during January-September came from Indonesia. China’s imported 35.8 million tonnes of bauxite from Indonesia during the first three quarters, an increase of 60.19% for a year earlier. Imports in September alone hit 5.67 million tonnes, an 809.84% surge YoY.
In addition, Chinese companies also ramped up purchases from other countries. For example, China imported 10.89 million tonnes and 4.98 million tonnes of bauxite from Australian and India, up 50.84% and 120% YoY, respectively.
Chinese alumina producers reliant on imported raw materials started to increase imports after Indonesia announced in May 2012 that it would impose a ban on exports of 14 types of raw ore, including bauxite.
The Indonesian government will assess companies planning to build alumina refineries in the country to decide whether it will loosen export restrictions for such companies, the Jakarta Post reported.