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[SMM analysis] China's bauxite imports increased by 9.99% in the first quarter compared with the same period last year. What will be the trend in the second quarter?
May 17,2020 22:01CST
translation
Source:SMM
SMM, May 17, according to the Chinese Customs, China imported a total of 28.4144 million tons of bauxite in the first quarter of 2020, an increase of 26.01% month-on-month and 9.99% year-on-year, a record high (based on 8-digit customs code 26060000).
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM, May 17, according to the Chinese Customs, China imported a total of 28.4144 million tons of bauxite in the first quarter of 2020, an increase of 26.01% month-on-month and 9.99% year-on-year, a record high (based on 8-digit customs code 26060000).

Figure 1. China's quarterly bauxite imports from 2017 to 2020 (in 10,000 tons)

Data sources: China Customs, SMM

By country, China imported 13.374 million tons from Guinea in the first quarter of this year, almost the same as the same period last year; Australia imported 9.237 million tons, an increase of 22.95 percent over the same period last year; and Indonesia imported 4.727 million tons, an increase of 46.45 percent over the same period last year. Imports from Solomon 374000 tons, Turkey 276000 tons, Montenegro 148000 tons, Ghana 117000 tons, Malaysia 98000 tons, Jamaica 62400 tons, the rest from Pakistan, Guyana and Sierra Leone very small imports.

The main reasons for the increase in imports in the first quarter are as follows: first, since the fourth quarter of 2019, alumina plants in Henan and Shanxi have completed technical transformation, and the demand for minerals from Guinea and Indonesia has increased; second, sea freight has fallen, and the reduction of transportation costs has boosted the shipping of mining enterprises and the willingness of domestic buyers to purchase. Third, the domestic epidemic suppressed the resumption of mining in the northern region after the year, and some alumina plants increased the use of imported ore, which also stimulated the growth of imports. However, since late March, the prices of domestic mines have fallen too low relative to imported mines, and the prices of caustic soda and coal have also dropped significantly. the advantages of alkali consumption and energy cost of using imported ores have been weakened by high ore prices and freight charges. Shanxi-Henan-Chongqing alumina plants have reduced their imported ore production lines, involving an annual production capacity of about 2 million tons. Therefore, in the second quarter, the imported ore market still needs to continue to pay attention to the marginal demand changes of alumina plants in inland areas and the changes of internal and external ore price.

Figure 2. National proportion of bauxite imports in the first quarter

Data sources: China Customs, SMM

On the price side, due to the sharp drop in sea freight rates from the end of 2019 to March 2020, the average CIF prices from Guinea, Indonesia and Australia, the three major sources of bauxite, fell almost at the same time.

Figure 3. Comparison of monthly average Import CIF Price and BDI trend between Guinea and Indonesia

Data sources: China Customs, SMM

Figure 4. Comparison of monthly average CIF Price and BCI-C5 trend of Australian imports

Data sources: China Customs, SMM

(SMM Li Hao 021Mui 5166 6863)

Bauxite
import and export
output

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