SHANGHAI, Sep 3 (SMM) – China’s bauxite imports decreased from June in July as the rainy season lowered volumes from Guinea, the top supplier of bauxite to China, according to data from China Customs.
Data showed that China imported 7.28 million mt of bauxite in July, down 2.2% month on month but up 18.2% year on year. Imports remained at high levels. In the first seven months of this year, China imported 49.58 million mt of bauxite, up 29.8% from a year ago.
In July, Guinea shipped 2.96 million mt of bauxite to China, down 10.1% from June as the rainy season arrived. The volumes accounted for 40.6% of the overall imported bauxite to China in July, down nearly 4% from a month ago but up 6% from the same period last year as some Chinese companies stepped up mining efforts in Guinea.
In August, Alufer Mining secured a long-term agreement with China State Power Investment Company (SPIC). The Bel Air mine in Guinea will provide stable supplies of quality bauxite to SPIC’s alumina refineries.
Bauxite imports from Guinea are set to grow as more mining capacities are commissioned.
Bauxite imports from Australia grew 13.6% from a month ago to 2.61 million mt in July, accounting for 35.8% of the overall imported volume.
Australia’s Metro Mining in August announced the negotiation of two new agreements for the lion’s share of the firm’s expected production through 2019.
Sales agreements are made with an unnamed Chinese buyer to be delivered to Henan province. The agreement will have Metro shipping 90% of its planned production this year to this Chinese buyer, some 580,000 mt, which leaves another 200,000 mt required for delivery by the end of next year.
Indonesia exported 511,000 mt of bauxite to China in July, down 28% from a month earlier. In August, the Indonesian government temporarily revoked the permit for PT Lobindo Nusa Persada to export 1.5 million mt of bauxite. This is likely to lower Indonesia imports.
Imported bauxite prices averaged $53.8/mt in July, up 1.8% from June and 7.3% from the same period in 2017. Materials from Australia averaged $47.8/mt, up 1% month on month and 8.3% year on year.