Imports of aluminium into the People’s Republic of China fell by 35.7 percent on the year in November, while its domestic aluminium output rose by 9.4 percent from last year’s November total.
November saw 255,744 metric tons of aluminium arrive on China’s shores according to newly-released data from the General Administration of Customs, better by 30.2 percent on the month. Thanks to relaxation of power restrictions earlier this year for Chinese industrial users, the country’s November output rose to 3.41 million metric tons. Aluminium output has risen each month this year since March.
Imports of bauxite ore rose 31.3 percent on the month to 11.79 million metric tons in November. Bauxite ore imports rose by 53.6 percent on the year, surpassing last November’s imported total of 7.7 million metric tons.
Primary aluminium production totaled 3.41 million metric tons in November, better by 9.4 percent on the year. With average profit margins of CNY1,173 per metric ton of smelted aluminium, traders say this will lure Chinese aluminium producers to increase production going forward according to an unidentified Shanghai trader who spoke to Reuters last week.
“Many aluminium producers are looking to ramp up production as long as the power supply allows, given profit of more than 1,000 yuan and good demand prospects next year.”
Through 11 months of 2022, the Middle Kingdom smelted 36.77 million metric tons, better by 3.9 percent than 2021’s first eleven months. Meanwhile, imports of aluminium fell by 28.2 percent in that period to 2.13 million metric tons.
Average daily production in November came to 113,667 metric tons per day, besting October’s daily average of 111,290 metric tons.
Although factory output fell and retail sales extended deadlines, relaxation of coronavirus restrictions and the central government’s push to breathe life into the country’s property sector increased projected demand for aluminium, bringing prices with it. Aluminium on the Shanghai Futures Exchange averaged CN¥18,845 per metric ton, better than October’s one-and-a-half-year low of CN¥17,755.