China’s Chalco plans to export 30,000-50,000 T of alumina in May
Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, known as Chalco, plans to export 30,000-50,000 tonnes of alumina in May, the company’s president told Reuters.
“We ourselves have 30,000-50,000 tonnes (of alumina exports this month),” Lu Dongliang said on the sidelines of the LME Asia Week conference in Hong Kong. He added that China’s overall exports of the material, used to make aluminium, would be “a little higher than that”.
U.S. sanctions on Russian aluminium producer United Company Rusal, together with an outage at Norsk Hydro ‘s Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil, have pushed up international alumina prices, leading to rare exports of alumina from China, the world’s biggest aluminium producer.
Lu was unable to say to which countries the Chinese alumina was going, explaining that “we sell to international companies and they do it.”
He declined to give an estimate for Chalco’s total alumina exports in 2018, saying that “we will look at the market situation every month”. The company would export a portion of its alumina production if appropriate.
Chinese exports could lead to “extremely high” pressure on the domestic alumina market, he added.
Asked if Chalco had been in contact with Rusal over whether the Russian firm could ship more metal to China in light of the U.S. sanctions, Lu declined to comment, saying this was a “sensitive subject.”
He said the impact of the 10 percent U.S. import tariff on aluminium imports would be “not big at all” on Chalco, since China’s exports of the metal to the United States were only “above 500,000 tonnes” annually.
Lu, who is also vice president of Aluminum Corp of China, or Chinalco, the country’s biggest state-run aluminum firm, put the group’s current aluminium smelting capacity at “over 5 million tonnes.” No new smelting capacity additions are planned for this year, he added.