Excess cargoes push Pacific alumina price to two-year low

Weak demand and good availability of cargoes continue to put pressure on global alumina prices toward the end of the third quarter of 2019, with prices on a downward spiral over the past four months.

Fastmarkets' benchmark alumina index, fob Australia fell to $292.50 per tonne on Tuesday September 17, its lowest since May 25, 2017, and remained little changed at $292.51 per tonne the following day. “Demand is poor and there are a lot of unplaced cargoes in the market,” a trader said. “[A price of] $290 per tonne is a fair number now, even though it is incredibly low.” The most recent deal heard concluded was at $302 per tonne for the latest PT Well Harvest Winning (WHW) tender, on an fob Indonesia basis. Market participants saw a discount of as much as $10 per tonne for Indonesian material against prices in the fob Australia market. “The most recent deal seems strange to me,” a second trader said. “There is confusion over whether it will go to Malaysia or not, and it was quite a high price.” Multiple other tenders were also issued in the week beginning September 16, which...

Published

Alice Mason

September 19, 2019

14:57 GMT

London