SHANGHAI, Jan 20 (SMM) - Price review: As of this Thursday January 19, the SMM weighted alumina index stood at 2,945 yuan/mt, up 12 yuan/mt from last Friday January 13. The prices stood between 2,870-2,960 yuan/mt in Shandong (+5 yuan/mt), 2,950-3,030 yuan/mt in Henan (+10 yuan/mt), 2,950-2,990 yuan/mt in Shanxi (+5 yuan/mt), 2,830-2,950 yuan/mt in Guangxi (+10 yuan/mt), 2,820-2,880 yuan/mt in Guizhou, and 2,900-3,000 yuan/mt in Bayuquan.
Overseas market: Alumina prices climbed $7/mt from last Friday to $355/mt FOB Western Australia this Thursday, equivalent to 2,947.69 yuan/mt CIF major ports in China, which was 2.69 yuan/mt lower than the domestic spot prices. Overseas alumina prices sustained their gains, buoyed by the news of 30% output cuts at Kwinana alumina refinery on January 9. Only one transaction was heard from the overseas market this week. On January 17, a deal for 30,000 mt of alumina was done at $390/mt FOB Brazil, for shipment in early March. The price was $10/mt higher than the previous transaction on January 9.
Domestic market: Cold weather and truck drivers on CNY break in advance hindered the transportation of alumina. Alumina roasting capacity in north China was still constrained by natural gas shortages and tightening environmental protection measures for the upcoming CNY holiday, disturbing alumina production. Aluminium smelters stocked up on alumina from the spot market on fears of unstable supply under long-term contracts, slightly driving up the spot prices. The efficiency of long-distance truck transportation declined further this week, with the priority being given to the shipments of long-term orders.
Aluminium smelters and alumina refineries will produce normally during the CNY holiday. The price fluctuations are expected to increase after the holiday with the recovery of trading activities.