Mexican exports to Vietnam continued at a blistering pace in June, lending further credence to the notion that a stockpile of fake semis is being transferred out of a warehouse in Guanajuato.
According to data from the Mexican Secretariat of Economy, the country exported 162,851 metric tons of aluminium to Vietnam in June, good for a 91.5% increase from May, when it sent 85,059 metric tons of the metal. Mexico sent 247,910 metric tons of aluminium to Vietnam in just those two months, which is over eight thousand times more aluminium than the country sent all of last year (30.4 metric tons).
Industry media outlet American Metal Markets (AMM) came into possession of photos showing a sizeable stockpile of aluminium extrusions in 2014, possibly up to 850,000 metric tons, at the Aluminicaste Fundición de México S. de RL de CV plant in San José Iturbide, Guanajuato. AMM obtained new photos in early August apparently showing almost three dozen trucks asssembled outside of the plant, alongside several stacks of aluminium. AMM’s sources told the outlet that, as the American market was not showing interest in the stockpile, the firm was shipping it off to Vietnam. AMM said that Aluminicaste had no comment on the situation.
According to an industry source, “the reason that this aluminium is now being exported is because it was initially imported on a temporary trade code, which can only be used if the material is re-exported within a certain amount of time. The cost for shipping the metal back to Vietnam is obviously less than the duty they would have to pay to keep the material in Mexico.”
Additionally, there is reason to believe that Aluminicaste is involved with the world’s second-largest extruded aluminium producer. Dupré Analytics, an anonymous group that researches Chinese companies, published a report in 2015 alleging that a proxy company of China’s Zhongwang Holdings shipped over one million metric tons of extrusions to Mexico between 2013 and 2014.
For its part, Zhongwang continues its steadfast denials of connections with Aluminicaste. A company representative denied the allegations when contacted by AMM in mid-August, saying the allegations were inaccurate and unfounded. Further, a Zhongwang representative contacted the editor-in-chief of Aluminium Insider shortly after similar details were published in these pages, initially telling him that Aluminicaste “has no business dealings with” Zhongwang, but that it is a “third party independent of Chairman Liu [Zhongtian] and the Company.”
Aluminium Insider will continue to monitor the story and publish news of further developments as it becomes available.