China Nonferrous Metals News

Speaking at a recent industry meeting, Huatai Futures analyst, Li Suheng said that the characteristics of China’s alumina industry are:

1. Domestic alumina capacity has been expanding rapidly in recent years, represented by China’s alumina output accounting for 10% of the global total in 2003 and lifting to 55% in 2018
2. China’s dependence on alumina imports has been in decline over recent years
3. Domestic alumina refineries face increasing cost pressures, represented by current weighted average production costs of RMB2,400~2,500/t
4. Domestic alumina refineries are mainly located in regions with ample bauxite supply, such as Shandong, Shanxi, Henan and Guangxi.

Mr. Li further suggested that China can be self-sufficient in alumina supply and has limited reliance on imports thanks to the relatively balanced structure of alumina refining-aluminium smelting capacities. China imported 2.86 mln t of alumina in 2017, accounting for only 4% of the total annual consumption and the figure further dropped to 1% in 2018. Australia is China’s largest alumina supplier, accounting for more than 60% of China’s total imports. With the continuous expansion of domestic alumina output , China’s alumina imports are expected to decline further going forward.

China Customs: China imported 200 kt of alumina in July 2019; and China’s total alumina imports during the first seven months of 2019 amounted to 520 kt, up 44.8% on-year.

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