On Tuesday, aluminum prices increased due to signs of improving demand from China, a major consumer and a weaker dollar.
Aluminum prices climbed by 0.40% to $2,283.50 per ton on March 21’s Asian afternoon session.
Chinese metal imports from Russia more than tripled at the beginning of this year, marking a 266.20% increase. Buyers kept their eyes on the rising demand in the Asian country after Western companies lessened Russian metal trading.
Furthermore, the total shipments from Moscow to the world’s top consumer were 105,300.00 tons from January to February. It jumped from 28,759.00 tons in the same period last year.
Also, since China lifted its strict COVID-19 restrictions late last year, the call for aluminum rose. The use of metal is commonly for construction and transport sectors.
In response to the Russia-Ukraine war, Beijing purchased more after Western countries announced sanctions.
One of the significant metal exporters, Russia, is a prominent supplier responsible for 69.00% of China’s total primary aluminum imports. According to analysts, it totaled 667,992.00 tons last year.
They added that Rusal, an aluminum giant, has been searching for more low-carbon metals in China as requests rose. In addition, the order of the commodity improved due to electric vehicle businesses.
On the other hand, the US had a 200.00% tariff on the metal and byproducts produced in Moscow. It came after Canada’s embargo on the import of all Russian aluminum and steel products.
Chinese Smelters Cut Aluminum Production
Frequent power shortages in provinces like Yunnan and Sichuan have affected smelters’ aluminum output plans.
An unmatched heatwave in the Sichuan area in 2022 led to a temporary shutdown of more than 95.00% of smelters.
Also, after a dreadful 2021, Yunnan was forced to make production slashes due to power supply shortages. It greatly impacted the later part of 2022 amid similar issues.
In the past weeks, more output cuts took place, which kept the Yunnan aluminum sector in a state of agitation.
Experts said their total production declined by the end of February, reaching 40.00% to 42.00% below the established capacity.