A sharp uptick in domestic aluminium production coupled with a drop in overseas supplies squeezed aluminium imports into the People’s Republic of China, dropping the flow of foreign aluminium by over one-third in July.
According to newly-released numbers from the General Administration of Customs, imports of aluminium into the Middle Kingdom fell by 38.3 percent on the year. Per the data, Chinese ports received 192,581 metric tons of aluminium, including unwrought aluminium, primary aluminium, and aluminium products.
Domestically, production of aluminium was up in the month, peaking at a record 3.43 million metric tons last month. The rise in production was, in part, due to a lack of power restrictions placed upon aluminium smelters, which the producers were forced to contend with this time last year.
Although July’s production of aluminium was an all-time high, smelters continue to battle against high power prices. Conversely, producers outside of China continued to cut production due to a rise in power prices in their own countries.
Additionally, a brief arbitrage window between London and Shanghai prices closed this summer, further restricting imported aluminium into China.
Imported aluminium was down by 28.1 percent on the year through the first seven months of 2022, totaling 1.27 million metric tons.
Meanwhile, bauxite ore imports to China rose by 12.4 percent month on month to 10.59 million metric tons. In July of last year Chinese firms imported 9.25 million metric tons of bauxite ore.