SHANGHAI, Mar. 9 (SMM) – Idled alumina capacity in China is unlikely to come back online on a large scale, despite recent price rise, SMM expects.
The reason all boils down to the fact that current prices are not attractive enough.
Alumina producers in southwest China are still struggling around cash costs. Producers in north China that cut or halted production earlier, whose costs are relatively high due to reliance on bauxite sourced from other parts of the country, are still operating in the red.
Moreover, trading was thin at higher prices. Most producers will not consider bringing idled capacity back into service until alumina prices show signs of sustainable rise, SMM has learned.
Alumina capacity cuts in China have amounted to 4.4 million-tpy so far this year, including capacity being cut, SMM statistics showed.
Mainstream traded prices for domestic alumina in China gained 80-120 yuan per tonne to 1,730-1,950 yuan per tonne as of march 3, SMM data showed.
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