The prices of China’s bauxite imports averaged at USD47.9/t in February 2020, a decline of 12.9% from a high point of US55/t in 2018. Industry analysts take the view that prices of China’s bauxite imports will be impacted by the following three factors over the short-term:
- Domestic inventories of imported bauxite, including inventories at ports and at refineries. At present, imported bauxite inventories exceeded 35 mln t in China, sustainable for more than three months’ operation. In the case of mining interruption at overseas mines or transport restrictions, short-term bauxite supply is still available.
- Domestic alumina prices. More domestic refineries are considering production cuts amid losses, which may lead to reduced demand for bauxite.
- Domestic bauxite price is in decline. Bauxite price fell by RMB100/t during April m-o-m in Shanxi. Enlarging gap between domestic and imported bauxite prices are likely to leverage the prices of imported bauxite down.