SHANGHAI, Aug 26 (SMM) — China’s imports of unwrought aluminium and aluminium semis in July exceeded exports for the first time since 2009 as it has successfully contained the coronavirus outbreak earlier than other countries. China imported 391,237 mt of unwrought aluminium and aluminium semis in July, and exported 373,400 mt, according to customs data.
China's imports of unwrought aluminium and aluminium semis (mt)
Inflow of seaborne aluminium ingots and aluminium semis increased as the SHFE/LME aluminium price ratio has cruised higher since late April and the import arbitrage window opened. In addition, demand from aluminium extrusion, plate, strip and foil producers was stable despite a traditional low consumption season, and operating rates at aluminium alloy makers did not fall sharply due to a recovery in the automobile sector, and these, combined with decent import profits, led to the significant increase in imports of aluminum ingots.
SHFE/LME aluminium price ratio
Exports of unwrought aluminium and aluminium semis has fallen since March as transportation was hindered and overseas demand plunged on the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. Besides, rising SHFE/LME aluminium price ratio and trade tensions also weighed on exports.
China imported 184,600 mt of primary aluminium in July, rising 49.52% from June and soaring 1,349.63% from a year earlier. Imports totalled 346,900 mt in the first seven months of 2020, surging 656.55% from the same period last year, customs data showed.
Imports of unwrought aluminium alloy rose 30.5% on the month and jumped 1,265.3% on the year to 170,900 mt in July, and totalled 637,500 mt in January-July, up 805.5% from the same period last year.
In July, China imported 11 million mt of bauxite, up 5.4% month on month and 21.5% year on year. Bauxite from Guinea (5.85 million mt), Australia (3.39 million mt) and Indonesia (1.52 million mt) accounted for 97.71% of the total imports.
China’s exports of alumina stood at 2,500 mt in July and totalled 100,000 mt in the first seven months of this year, and imports came in at 417,300 mt in July and totalled 2.33 million mt in January-July.