China’s Aluminium Imports Drop In April While Domestic Production Surges

China’s Aluminium Imports Drop In April While Domestic Production Surges

Imports of aluminium into the People’s Republic of China were off by over one-third on the year last month according to data released by the state. Experts chalk up the drop to a rise in prices for foreign supplies along with a drop in aluminium consumption within its own borders.

According to numbers released by Beijing earlier in the week, aluminium imports into the Middle Kingdom fell by 37.7 percent on the year in April. The year’s fourth month saw 175,289 metric tons of unwrought aluminium pass through its ports, down from 281,139 metric tons a year before.

Imports of primary aluminium were down by 11.1 percent from March of this year as well.

Since the beginning of the year, China has imported less than 200 thousand metric tons of primary aluminium per month each month. Analysts say the arbitrage conditions of last year have since evaporated as the toll inflicted upon the economy by the coronavirus pandemic deflated domestic demand.

Meanwhile, exports of raw aluminium jumped by over 36 percent on the year in April, rising to 596,863 metric tons for the month. Bauxite ore imports fell last month however, dropping by 4.9 percent on the month to 11.13 million metric tons from 8.74 million metric tons in April of 2021.

China’s domestic production of primary aluminium was a record-high 3.36 million metric tons in April, up by 0.3 percent over the previous April, which was the previous monthly high for aluminium production. The country’s smelters produced an average of 112 thousand metric tons per day, besting March’s daily average of 106,453 metric tons, which was another record high.

Analysts say removal of restrictions on power consumption over the winter were relaxed in April, accounting for the increase. Through the year’s first four months, Chinese aluminium smelters combined to churn out 13.01 million metric tons of raw aluminium, off by 0.2 percent on the year.