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China Shanxi spot alumina firms Yuan 40/mt to Yuan 3,360/mt

Friday, Sep 22, 2017

The Platts China ex-works Shanxi daily spot alumina assessment continued to rally on Monday, settling at Yuan 3,360/mt ($514/mt) cash, up Yuan 40/mt from Friday on a bid-ask spread of Yuan 3,320-3,400/mt.

Related podcast: Alumina market braces for stormy Q4 as price hits multi-year high

The current price also reflected an increase of Yuan 230/mt on the week, and was up Yuan 710/mt from a month ago.

Market sentiment and short-term outlook stayed strong on looming bauxite supply concerns, limited spot supply, anticipated refinery cuts for winter, increased demand ahead of the October 1-8 National Day holidays, and firm domestic metal prices.

Shandong Hongqiao said it sold around 20,000 mt October spot at Yuan 3,380/mt cash in two separate deals to a Chinese refiner-trader, and a Chinese trader, for delivery to Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang.

The trades could not be confirmed on Monday, but several market participants said the bid-ask spread had risen on news of the trades.

"Prices are still on the uptrend, and the Hongqiao trade at Yuan 3,380/mt is not surprising, as not many other sellers have stocks to offer now...but there's no trades heard at that level in Shanxi and Henan yet," a South China smelter said.

A Northwest China smelter agreed, adding that "it's a sellers' market now, prices may not have reached the higher levels yet in general, but can probably reach Yuan 3,400/mt in the coming days."

On Monday, three Chinese refiners put a minimum offer level at Yuan 3,400/mt cash ex-works Shanxi, Henan, and Shandong basis.

The highest offer heard was at Yuan 3,500/mt, with some refiners still eying Yuan 3,700-4,000/mt cash levels in the near term.

The front-month aluminum contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed at Yuan 16,275/mt on Monday, down from Yuan 16,315/mt on the week, but up from Yuan 16,265/mt a month ago.

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