Bauxite & alumina: China alumina prices spike due to sudden shutdowns

non-metallurgical bauxite and alumina

Alumina prices in northern China have flirted with six-month highs as sudden environmental shutdowns in Shanxi province have raised concerns about supply.

Xinfa Group, one of China’s largest aluminium smelters, is closing all production lines at its 2.8Mtpy alumina refinery in Jiaokou, Shanxi amid an environmental dispute. China’s state-run CCTV has reported that a Shanxi unit of Xinfa had been dumping red mud, a toxic by-product of the process that refines alumina from bauxite, in Xiaoyi City.

Roskill View

The latest environmental shutdowns have been so extreme that there is now no raw bauxite available in Shanxi Province. Roskill sources report that all aluminium, bauxite and alumina plants in, or near to, Xiaoyi have been closed. All the bauxite mines have also been closed – so that there is now, temporarily, no raw bauxite available for any use from Shanxi Province. All the industry’s rotary kilns in the Xiaoyi area have also been closed and it is very difficult to get +85% grade bauxite in China.

Roskill presented at the recent Fastmarkets International Bauxite & Alumina conference in Miami and will be presenting at the upcoming Fastmarkets Fluorspar and IMFORMED Fluorine Forum conferences on markets for aluminium fluoride. We will also be presenting at UNITECR in Yokohama, Japan in October 2019 on refractory raw materials.

The 10th edition of the Roskill Global Industry Markets and Outlook report on non-metallurgical bauxite and alumina, with forecasts to 2029 and our detailed analysis of the market, will be published in August 2019. Find out more