China’s May aluminum imports drop 16% y/y

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BEIJING — China’s aluminum imports in May fell 16.4% from the same month a year earlier, government data showed on Saturday, amid high overseas prices and weaker domestic consumption.

The country brought in 188,469 tonnes of unwrought aluminum and products – including primary metal and unwrought, alloyed aluminum – last month, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

Monthly aluminum imports into China, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of the metal, have been below 200,000 tonnes so far this year as an arbitrage window for cheaper overseas metal shut and downstream demand weakened due to COVID-19 induced lockdowns.

The May imports were up slightly from 175,289 tonnes in April however.

China’s exports of unwrought aluminum and aluminum products jumped 54% from a year earlier to 676,605 tonnes in May, its highest in at least nine years.

Imports of bauxite, the main aluminum ore source, were 11.97 million tonnes last month, up slightly from April’s 11.13 million tonnes, and compared with 9.11 million tonnes in May a year earlier.

(Reporting by Dominique Patton and Emily Chow; Editing by William Mallard)

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