FOCUS: Alumina price uptrend in China likely to continue on slow output recovery

The price of alumina in China is likely to continue edging higher while refineries in the country struggle to ramp up production amid a shortage of raw materials due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) at the beginning of the year, market sources told Fastmarkets.

“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...

Published

Hui Li

March 04, 2020

12:16 GMT

Shanghai