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China’s bauxite imports surged in August 2013: SMM

China’s bauxite imports surged in August amid fears that the Indonesian government may impose an outright ban on the exports of unprocessed ores, including bauxite, in 2014.

China imported 6.98 million mt of bauxite in August, a 241.55% increase YoY. YTD imports through August totaled 46.12 million mt, also up 60.84% YoY.

Indonesia remained China’s top bauxite supplier, with August imports hitting 4.98 million mt, and accounting for 71.39% of China’s total imports. Alumina producers in China increased bauxite imports over fears the Indonesian government may impose an outright ban on the exports of unprocessed ores, including bauxite, in 2014.

Chinese alumina producers relying on imported bauxite are now holding 7-10 months of raw materials, up sharply from levels at the end of 2012. Traders in Indonesia also stepped up exports, contributing to the growth in China’s bauxite imports.

It is rumored that the Indonesian government will relax its export policies, but even if the export ban takes effect in 2014, Chinese alumina producers be little affected in the short-term given their high raw material inventories. China’s bauxite imports are expected to remain high for the remainder of the year.

 


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