China’s April aluminium imports rise with domestic supply constrained

China’s April aluminium imports rise with domestic supply constrained

China’s aluminium imports in April rose 27.1% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Thursday, with domestic supply constrained by lingering power issues in the southwest.

The world’s biggest aluminium producer and consumer brought in 222,851 tonnes of unwrought aluminium and products – including primary metal and unwrought, alloyed aluminium – last month, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

That compared to 175,289 tonnes imported in the same month of 2022 and 200,508 tonnes in March.

Imports in the first four months of the year totalled 797,602 tonnes, up 12.6% year-on-year, the data showed.

Domestic output in the southwestern province of Yunnan, China’s fourth-biggest producing province accounting for about 12% of the country’s total aluminium capacity, fell due to lower hydropower output.

“Rainfall…is still lower than levels in previous years,” analysts at Zijin Tianfeng Futures said in a report this week.

“Even if the situation improves to some degree, we do not expect to see a large-scale production resumption in the region in the short run.”

China’s April aluminium output rose just 0.8% from a year earlier, official data showed on Tuesday, with a 54.5% year-on-year jump in passenger vehicle sales partly driving the need for higher aluminium imports.

Imports of bauxite, a key raw material for aluminium products, totalled 12 million tonnes last month, the customs data showed.

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