Asia Metals News

Asia Metals: An investigation into red-mud leak problems at Xiaoyi and Jiaokou, Shanxi Province is currently underway. Three alumina refineries including Shanxi Xiaoyi Huaqing Aluminium, Xinfa Feimei Aluminium Co. Ltd and Xinfa Jiaokou Aluminium Co. Ltd. are likely to be forced to halt all operations, involving alumina capacity of 6.6 mtpy.

Shanxi Xiaoyi Huaqing Aluminium has already suspended all of its 450 ktpy capacity. Xinfa Jiaokou Feimei Aluminium (with total capacity at 2.8 mtpy) has suspended two production lines, with the remaining two lines to be suspended in the short-term. No news regarding capacity cuts has as yet been announced by Jiaokou Xinfa.

There are 15 alumina refineries in Shanxi, with a total of 25.4 mtpy capacity, accounting for 29.47% of the national total. At present, most refineries are operating below their designed capacity – due to a crunch in bauxite supply. Shanxi produced 6.88 mln t of alumina in Q1 2019, representing 30.2% of the national total.

China produced 5.83 mln t of alumina and 2.99 mln t of primary aluminium in April 2019, indicative of a slight shortfall in alumina supply. If all three of the previously named Shanxi refineries halt operations due to environmental issues, 6.6 mtpy of domestic alumina capacity will be curbed, leading to a short-term worsening of domestic alumina supply.

Domestic alumina prices stood stable at RMB 2,760~2,810/t during the first ten days of May.

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