Alumina import window opens again, how does import volume change?
At present, the price difference between domestic and overseas alumina is at a large level. Since the second quarter of 2017, the price of overseas alumina fell below $300 per ton for the first time. In 2018, the price of overseas alumina briefly soared to $600/ton, and the gradual resumption of production at Hydro's Alunorte alumina plant in Brazil stabilized the market supply. In recent months, the Australian alumina cash market volume has increased significantly, including South32 alumina, which has rarely been traded in the cash market before. In the past month and a half, several transactions have been made, with a scale of nearly 100,000 tons. This will inevitably increase the downward pressure on overseas alumina prices. In contrast, domestic alumina prices have risen steadily. According to my nonferrous network, domestic alumina prices have risen by 10% in the past two months and are currently at 2,680 yuan/ton. Due to the impact of force majeure, environmental restrictions and declining raw material supply on domestic production, the domestic aluminum supply side has become more unpredictable this year.
It is not uncommon for domestic and foreign alumina price trends to diverge, but they tend to be in the same direction rather than completely diverging. In theory, the increase in Chinese imports should make the global alumina market relatively balanced and narrow the spread. But this did not happen as expected, and structurally, this price divergence has some justification.
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