Demand from China continues to push alumina prices upward

Alumina prices on an fob Australia basis continued to climb over the past week with buyers from China happy to pay above market levels to import cargoes, Fastmarkets heard on Tuesday May 19.

“The stronger aluminium prices and demand in China are propping up the international price of alumina,” a trader said. “Plants are restarting and life is getting back to normal there, after the [Covid-19 pandemic] lockdown.”
A fresh deal was concluded for Western Australia-origin alumina at $267 per tonne cif main China ports, with a differential to the corresponding fob Australia price of $15 per tonne for freight.
The price was significantly higher than in the latest deal for Western Australian material, which was concluded on May 16 at $245 per tonne fob Australia. That cargo was also said to be destined for China.

“Deals have been taking us by surprise recently,” a consumer said. “Logically, we expected alumina prices to settle somewhere around $230 per tonne, but buyers in China always seem content to pay $5 or $10 [per tonne] higher than everyone else. But their demand is strong and...


Alice Mason

May 19, 2020

15:55 GMT