China Sees Surge in Aluminium Imports Amid Demand and Supply Concerns

China Sees Surge in Aluminium Imports Amid Demand and Supply Concerns

Significant Increase in Aluminium Imports

In November, China, the world’s largest consumer and producer of aluminium, reported a 34.2% increase in aluminium imports compared to the previous year. According to the General Administration of Customs, the country imported 343,109 metric tons of unwrought aluminium and products, including primary metal and unwrought, alloyed aluminium.

Driving Factors for the Import Rise

The increase in imports is attributed to robust domestic demand and concerns over a decrease in domestic supply. Industries such as construction, transport, and packaging, which heavily use aluminium, have maintained strong demand within China. This contrasts with subdued orders in the United States and Europe, where high inflation and slow construction have dampened demand.

Regional Output Reductions Impacting Supply

Supply worries have been heightened by low domestic inventories and plans to reduce output in Yunnan province, a significant aluminium-producing region in China. Yunnan authorities’ decision to cut production due to the dry season has raised concerns about reduced domestic output from December until the second quarter of the next year.

Market Response and Price Trends

These supply and demand dynamics have supported Chinese aluminium prices, with the most-traded aluminium contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gaining 4.4% in November. In contrast, the benchmark three-month aluminium contract on the London Metal Exchange fell by 2.6%. The higher prices in China have encouraged traders to increase shipments for profit.

Comparison with Previous Month and Yearly Totals

November’s imports, while significant, were slightly lower than October’s near two-year high of 351,065 tons. From January to November, China’s unwrought aluminium and product imports rose 28.3% to 2.74 million tons.

Bauxite Imports Also on the Rise

In addition to aluminium, imports of bauxite, a crucial raw material for aluminium, increased by 2.1% year-on-year to 11.93 million tons in November. The total imports of bauxite from January to November reached 129.58 million tons, marking a 12.5% increase from the previous year. icon

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