Indonesia’s Export Ban to ‘Slim Down’ China’s Aluminum Sector

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Let the slim down begin? “China has found an inadvertent ally in its efforts to slim down a bloated aluminium sector, with Indonesia’s ban on exporting metal ores set to boost costs of the raw material bauxite and pile more pressure on struggling smelters,” reports Reuters.

“Beijing has been issuing broadbrush rules aimed at reining in overcapacity in sectors such as aluminium and steel for about a decade, but plans have usually been thwarted by resistance from local governments anxious to boost growth.”

“In the aluminium sector, ageing and inefficient smelters are already grappling with rising power prices, but now face potential bauxite shortages after Indonesia halted ore shipments on Jan. 12, as part of efforts to make miners process minerals at home.”

“China is the world’s biggest aluminium producer and curbing expansion could ease a global surplus of the metal and even lead to the country resuming sizeable imports of refined aluminum.”

In metal price news for aluminum…

Following a 2.7 percent decline, the Indian aluminum cash price finished as the week’s biggest mover on the weekly Aluminum MMI®. The cash price of primary aluminum fell 2.1 percent on the LME to $1,710 per metric ton after rising 1.8 percent the week before. Following a 1.6 percent increase in the week prior, the 3-month price of aluminum fell 2.0 percent on the LME last week to $1,753 per metric ton.

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Chinese aluminum prices were mixed for the week. The cash price of Chinese aluminum fell 0.6 percent after rising 0.2 percent the week before. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese aluminum bar closed flat. Chinese aluminum billet traded sideways last week.

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The week finished with no movement for Korean 3003 coil premium over 1050 sheet. Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet remained unchanged for the week. European 5083 plate remained essentially flat from the previous week. European 1050 aluminum prices held steady from the previous week.

The Aluminum MMI® collects and weights 12 global aluminum price points to provide a unique view into aluminum price trends. For more information on the Aluminum MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.