SMM has toned down its forecast for domestic alumina output to 5.97 mln t in May 2019, following news that some local Shanxi refineries were forced to halt operations due to environmental reasons. According to SMM, domestic alumina supply is expected to remain in excess for May, which has shrunk to approximately 150 kt, the lowest monthly level since December 2018.
The sudden alumina production cuts in Shanxi have triggered market concerns about supply. Tightening alumina supply in the northern market has shored up market quotations to more than RMB 3,000/t. Domestic alumina prices are expected to rise rapidly in the short-term.