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China's Aluminium Imports Surge 61% in May Amid Increased Russian Shipments

18 Jun 2024 12:04 pm
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MUMBAI, 18 Jun (Commoditiescontrol): China's aluminium imports surged by 61.1% in May compared to the same period last year, according to customs data released on Tuesday. This significant rise is largely attributed to increased shipments from Russia, which has been redirecting its metal exports to China due to Western sanctions.

China, the world's largest consumer of aluminium, imported 310,000 metric tons of unwrought aluminium and aluminium products in May. This figure includes primary metal as well as unwrought, alloyed aluminium.

Following the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Britain in April, which banned the delivery of Russian metals, Russia, a leading producer of aluminium, nickel, and copper, has significantly increased its exports to China. In the first four months of this year, China imported 500,741 tons of primary aluminium from Russia, a 91.6% increase from the 261,379 tons imported during the same period last year.

While specific country-of-origin data for May will be available on Thursday, it is clear that imports from nations other than Russia have been limited. This is primarily due to higher global aluminium prices compared to those in China, according to traders.

The aluminium market has seen a notable rally this year, driven by optimism regarding demand from the solar and electric vehicle industries, as well as speculative trading. This rally pushed the benchmark aluminium contract on the London Metal Exchange to a near two-year high late last month.

In the first five months of 2024, China imported 1.8 million tons of unwrought aluminium and aluminium products, marking an 81.7% increase from the same period last year. Additionally, imports of bauxite, a crucial raw material for aluminium production, rose by 4.7% to 13.55 million tons in May. For the first five months of the year, bauxite imports totaled 64.04 million tons, a 5.8% increase from the previous year.

(By Commoditiescontrol Bureau; +91 98201 3018)

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