Adverse weather conditions are to blame for the drop in imported bauxite ore by buyers in the People’s Republic of China, as rainy weather in Guinea hampered exports of the aluminium precursor to the Middle Kingdom in August.
According to data released this week by the country’s customs department, China imported 9.04 million metric tons of HS code 2606000000 bauxite last month, off by over 6 percent on the month. However, despite falling from July’s total, last month’s intake bested that of the previous August by more than 14 percent.
Altogether, China has imported 75.06 million metric tons of bauxite ore for the year through August, which is 30 percent above the total imported bauxite for last year’s first 8 months.
As ever, Guinea, Australia, and Indonesia staked out the top three spots as bauxite ore providers to Chinese buyers in August, making up all but 7 percent of the ore shipped to China in the month. Guinea sent 3.64 million metric tons of bauxite ore, which was off by nearly a fifth from the month prior. Meanwhile, importers from Australia worked to make up the difference, increasing shipments by nearly 8 percent on the month to 3.63 million metric tons.
Imports from Indonesia fell in August as well, dropping by 14 percent to 1.13 million metric tons.
Though not participating in August’s exports to China, experts believe Malaysia may soon begin to ship bauxite to the Middle Kingdom. Initially allowing only 600 thousand metric tons of the ore to ship from Pahang, the government has announced plans to reintroduce bauxite sales on a wider scale in the near future. Malaysia shipped 3.5 million metric tons of bauxite ore to China in the last month before the bauxite moratorium was implemented in 2016.