“Northern Chinese regions have removed almost 6 million tonnes of alumina production since the outbreak of the virus in January, which caused severe tightness in the alumina supply chain across China,” an alumina analyst in Shanghai said last week.
This 6 million tonnes accounts for roughly 9% of China’s current operating capacity of 64 million tonnes, which is down from the total 82 million tonnes that Chinese refineries can produce at full capacity, according to market participants.
Alumina refineries across China have been operating at a rate of approximately 80% amid various production cuts enforced due to difficulty sourcing raw materials and a shortage of labor amid ongoing government efforts to contain the spread of virus. This dynamic recently pulled the price of alumina in China to a four-month high.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for alumina metallurgical grade, ddp China stood at 2,500-2,620...