24th July: Antaike says that the 1.5 mtpy closures at China’s refineries will curb the oversupply of alumina, that prices are approaching a two-year low and will bottom-out.
Reduced production levels have affected the major alumina centres, Shanxi and Henan, of which a 1 mln t reduction was due to 30 days’ equipment maintenance starting from July 20. Affected by oversupply, northern spot alumina prices fell to RMB 2,490/t on Wednesday, the lowest since August 2017.
Antaike says that alumina refineries in northern regions have production costs of up to RMB 2,700/t, meaning some alumina producers are suffering from “serious losses”. Since Q2 2019, China’s alumina prices have been in a “roller coaster” state, as environmental shutdowns in Shanxi briefly pushed prices to above RMB 3,000/t.