Asian Metal News
Mainstream domestic alumina prices have risen to RMB2,580~2,630/t, up by RMB100/t from two weeks ago on tightening supply led by production cuts in northern China. Alumina suppliers are holding firm on price, due to tight supply with a bullish prospect next week.
One northern refinery offered to sell 5 kt of alumina at RMB2,620/t , up by RMB30/t from late last week. According to a company spokesman, “The offer has been declined but we are reluctant to compromise on prices”. The majority of Shanxi refineries are operating under their designed capacity due to a shortfall in local bauxite supply. The refinery’s previous sales was 20 kt of alumina at RMB2,460/t in late January. ‘Given that most local bauxite mines will remain inactive next week, the domestic alumina price is likely to climb to RMB2,650/t accordingly’, he added.
The refinery is designed with 400 ktpy alumina capacity and its February output was 20 kt with March output expected to be the same. The refinery currently has no stocks.
A primary smelter in northwest China revealed that they bought 15 kt of alumina at RMB2,550/t last week and that the price has increased by RMB50/t to RMB2,600/t at present. According to the source, they are not interested in bulk procurement and forecast the alumina price will lift further next week but be capped by RMB2,700/t as it is under pressure from a relatively low primary aluminium price of RMB13,000/t. The smelter typically consumes 200 kt of alumina per annum, and its February consumption was 17 kt with March consumption to be the same. It currently holds one-month’s stock for operation.