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China’s alumina imports rise in October on growing demand from aluminum smelters

China’s alumina imports rose in October due to aluminum smelters stockpiling raw materials for winter production and falling imported alumina prices, Shanghai Metals Market (SMM) has learned.

Inbound shipments of alumina grew 25% from a year ago to 460,000 tonnes in October. This is because aluminum smelters began to build up stocks in September in preparation for production in winter. In addition, lower imported alumina prices also enticed aluminum smelters to step up imports.

Imports from January through October, however, fell 28% year-on-year to 2.94 million tonnes. Aluminum smelters preferred domestic alumina early this year due to its growing supply and falling prices, cutting into demand for imported alumina. As a consequence, China’s alumina imports during the first ten months of the year fell from a year earlier.

SMM expects China’s demand for imported alumina to remain high for the near future since aluminum smelters will continue to replenish stocks till December. Meanwhile, traders will also ramp up imports due to brisk trading and falling inventories at ports.

FOB prices for Australian alumina climbed $ 7 per tonne month-on-month to $ 325 per tonne in mid-November, while prices at Lianyungang port also rose 30 yuan per tonne to 2,580 per tonne, driving by growing demand for imported materials.

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