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China ex-works spot alumina drops Yuan 50/mt to Yuan 3,350/mt

Singapore (Platts)--30 Nov 2017 1153 am EST/1653 GMT


Platts ex-works Shanxi daily spot alumina assessment fell further Thursday, dropping Yuan 50/mt ($7.60) on the day to Yuan 3,350/mt in cash. The price is also down Yuan 100/mt from a week ago, and down Yuan 450/mt on the month.

Spot trade remained thin as sentiment stayed weak, with domestic aluminum prices still low, while buyers shied away in wait for lower levels closer to Yuan 3,000/mt, sources said.

Five refiners and smelter sources put current tradeable spot levels at Yuan 3,300-3,400/mt cash ex-works Shanxi and Henan Thursday, but agreed there was no firm price indication as no trades have been reported.

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One Chinese refiner said he heard 5,000 mt of spot has been sold by a trader at Yuan 3,100/mt ex-Guangxi basis, adding pressure to overall alumina prices as a result.

Two other Chinese refiners said they had not heard about the Guangxi trade, but said they were "not surprised" as prices were still on a downtrend.

"Prices are all over the place, depending on positions," a Henan-based smelter source said. "The market is still unstable; we're not buying spot now, we want to see how the ingot price moves first."

The general expectation is that prices will test lower until mid-December, where more spot demand could be seen as smelter reserves are depleted, sources said.

The front-month primary aluminum contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed Thursday at Yuan 14,605/mt, down from Yuan 14,910/mt last week and Yuan 16,195/mt a month ago.

---Yuencheng Mok, yuencheng.mok@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jonathan Fox, jonathan.fox@spglobal.com




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