China imported 12.9 million tonnes of bauxite in May, up 7.8% on month and 7.8% on year. The import from Guinea remained high at 9.8 million tonnes, up 10% on month and 40% on year. Chinese buyers increased procurement and shipments of Guinea cargoes before the wet season in that country. Import from Australia was 2.6 million tonnes, down 8% on month and 15% on year.
Apart from these two major sources, China imported 554kt from non-mainstream sources in May, including Turkey (219kt), Brazil (156kt) and Ghana(179kt).
China's total bauxite import in the first five months increased by 8.6% to 60.6 million tonnes.Total imports from non-mainstream sources surged 308% to 2.25 million tonnes.
Brazil exported 470,780 tonnes of bauxite in May, including 312,229 tonnes to China, according to Comex Stat. Brazil's bauxite export to China totaled 689,902 tonnes in the first five months. The country has resumed its bauxite export to China since late last year driven by healthy demand in China. Besides, Malaysia has resumed bauxite exports of late after a short pause, and hundreds of thousands of tonnes of unwashed bauxite were allowed to be exported, according to some market sources.
China's alumina capacity is still expanding. Most new projects under construction or proposed are located in regions near ports, like Guangxi. According to Mysteel, around 5 MPTA alumina capacity have been comssioned so far this year, and there are many proposed alumina projects with around 30 million tonnes of annual capacity. All these new alumina projects rely on seaborne bauxite, which gives overseas mining companies confidence in the Chinese market.