BEIJING — China’s aluminum imports in August dropped 19% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Sunday, reflecting lowered import appetite amid record-high domestic production and tight overseas supply.
The country brought in 200,440 tonnes of unwrought aluminum and products, including primary metal and unwrought, alloyed aluminum last month, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
The fall in imports came as supply jitters at home eased thanks to this year’s production ramp-up as power restrictions that curtailed domestic production were relaxed. The power restrictions have also boosted demand for imported material.
China, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of the light metal, made 3.51 million tonnes of aluminum in August, a record for a single month, following a prior record set in July.
This contrasted with growing cuts by European aluminum producers as rising energy costs have made production of the electricity-intensive metal uneconomic.
The continuing closure of an arbitrage window between the markets in Shanghai and London also led to a yearly fall in imports.
Total imports in the first eight months were 1.48 million tonnes, down 27% from the same period a year ago.
Imports of bauxite, the main source of aluminum ore, were 10.75 million tonnes last month, up 24.2% from July’s 10.59 million tonnes, and compared with 8.7 million in August a year earlier, according to the data. (Reporting by Siyi Liu, Dominique Patton and Martin Quin Pollard; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)