GUANGZHOU, Dec 6 (SMM) – China has to seek more opportunities to expand aluminium consumption domestically and abroad, after trade disputes lowered exports of aluminium products in 2018, according to Mo Xinda, division chief of China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA).
China has maintained a trade surplus in aluminium materials exports since 2005, she told delegates at the SMM 2018 SMM Aluminium-Silicon Summit in Guangzhou, Guangdong province on Thursday December 6.
While the US was the biggest export destination of Chinese aluminium products in 2017, trade disputes lowered exports significantly in 2018, Mo said.
Chinese exports of aluminium foil to the US dipped 74.2% from a high of 21,000 mt in May 2017, to a low of 5,451 mt in October 2018, she cited customs data. Higher US tariffs on Chinese goods deterred the exports. This increased the US' imports of aluminium products from Russia, Indonesia, and South Korea, she added.
In October, South Korea imported some 3,061 mt of aluminium plates, sheets and strip (HS code 7606) from China, accounting for 10.5% of South Korea’s monthly exports of the same products to the US, according to Mo.
She believed that China needs to seek more opportunities to expand domestic demand, which accounted for some 90% of overall aluminium consumption. In recent years, demand grew gradually in sectors such as high-speed rail transport, take-away packaging, and electric bikes, she said.