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China Sees Dramatic Drop in Aluminium Imports for 2022
China Sees Dramatic Drop in Aluminium Imports for 2022

China Sees Dramatic Drop in Aluminium Imports for 2022

  • 18-Jan-2023 3:43 PM
  • Journalist: Bob Duffler

China: China imported 2.39 million tonnes of unwrought Aluminium and products in 2022, a 25.6% decrease from the previous year due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on consumption. These imports included primary metal and alloyed Aluminium, as reported by the General Administration of Customs. This marked a sharp drop from 2021, which saw record levels of shipments amidst supply disruptions within China caused by tight regulations on industrial users.

Demand for Aluminium, a light metal used in construction, transportation and packaging sectors was markedly muted due to China's stringent anti-coronavirus measures, as well as the struggling property sector. The country's economic growth plummeted to its lowest level in nearly five decades in 2022.

In 2022, relaxation of power restrictions enabled domestic suppliers to step up production, causing primary Aluminium output to hit an unprecedented 40.21 million tonnes. This increased in-country supply was accompanied by a decline in the demand for imported material, further driving down the cost of domestic Aluminium and making imports less attractive to traders.

Monthly imports of Aluminium climbed 6.3% year-on-year to 258,678 tonnes in December, coinciding with China's sudden termination of its zero-COVID policy and the subsequent surge for industrial metals.

Bauxite imports also benefited from the uptick in demand, reaching 10.15 million tonnes last month -- a 17% rise from the previous year. For 2022 as a whole, bauxite imports totaled 125.47 million tonnes, a 17% increase from 107.37 million imported during the preceding 12 months.

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