China November aluminum imports fall amid rising domestic supply

BEIJING, Dec 18 (Reuters) – China’s aluminum imports in November fell 35.7% from a year earlier as a result of mounting domestic supply, also as the COVID-hit economy continued to temper demand for the light metal.The country brought in 255,744 tons , including primary metal and unwrought, alloyed aluminum, last month, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. With easing power restrictions on industrial users this year, smelters in China ramped up their production. The latest November output number showed a ninth consecutive increase to 3.41 million tons. For the first 11 months of the year, the world’s top aluminum maker produced 36.77 million tons, up 3.9% from the corresponding period in 2021. Also weighing on import appetite was weak demand for the metal used in transportation, construction and packaging sectors. China’s economy lost more momentum in November as factory output slowed and retail sales extended declines, both missing forecasts. However, signs of easing COVID restrictions and Beijing’s efforts to revive the troubled property sector have brightened demand outlook for industrial metals, as reflected in a price rise last month.The most-traded aluminum on the Shanghai Futures Exchange averaged at 18,845 yuan ($2,703.42) a tonne in November, up from 17,755 yuan a tonne in Ocotober when it hit a 19-month low. November’s import volume recorded an increase of 30.2% from 196,460 tonnes in the prior month. Total imports in the first 11 mo nths were 2.13 million tons, down 28.2% from the corresponding period last year. Imports of bauxite, the main source of aluminum ore, came in at 11.79 million tons last month. That was up 31.3% from October’s 8.98 million tonnes and up 53.6% from 7.7 million in November last year. ($1 = 6.9708 Chinese yuan renminbi) Reporting by Siyi Liu and Dominique Patton; Editing by Michael PerryOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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