SHANGHAI, Mar 13 (SMM) – China's imports of aluminium oxide in January fell for three consecutive months and touched a new low of 74,000 mt since August 2017. This is down 48.6% month on month and 72.3% year on year, according to China Customs.
Higher prices of imports, over prices of domestic supplies, accounted for the decline. Imports are likely to remain weak in February given the impact of the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday and as profit margins between domestic supplies and imports widen.
SMM expects imports to remain low in March in view of the 50% production cut at Hydro’s Alunorte aluminium oxide plant in Brazil. The cur will lower supplies of foreign aluminium oxide.
CNY also accounted for the fall in the monthly average price of aluminium oxide imports from Australia in February. Prices fell 3.1% month on month and stood at $379/mt fob.
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