Customs data released last week by the Chinese government show that imports of aluminium into the country over the first two months of this year jumped by 11.3 percent above totals from last year’s opening two months.
Industry experts say the expected increased demand later this year largely prompted the jump. China’s relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions is likely to fuel a greater need for the versatile metal.
The General Administration of Customs said that 374,321 metric tons of unwrought aluminium reached China’s shores in January and February, surpassing the 336,007 metric tons that entered during the first two months of last year.
Domestic production in China also rose over the first two months this year to 6.74 million metric tons, better by 7.5 percent over last year. Additionally, bauxite imports rose across the first two months to 23.62 million, better by 12.8 percent than last year.
Beijing’s relaxation of coronavirus precautions towards the end of last year encouraged an industrial resurgence early in this year, with manufacturing activity increasing in February at the highest rate in more than ten years.
Although a jump in demand boosted aluminium imports, a rise in global aluminium prices tempered importers. January saw an average price of US$2,644 per metric ton at the London Metal Exchange, returning to prices not seen since last spring. February saw a slight retreat to US$2,373 per metric ton.