China's March alumina exports to Russia soar as sanctions over Ukraine bite

Aluminium bar stock is seen inside a factory in Dongguan
Aluminium bar stock is seen inside a factory in Dongguan, China April 10, 2018. Picture taken April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

BEIJING, April 20 (Reuters) - China's alumina exports to Russia surged over 90 times in March from the same period a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday, as sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine cut off some of its traditional supplies.

In March, China shipped 9,949 tonnes of alumina to Russia, up from 104.5 tonnes the same month in 2021, according to the General Administration of Customs. Its total alumina exports last month soared 180% year-on-year to 12,955 tonnes.

The volume is still tiny compared with China's monthly output of more than six million tonnes. But it came after Australia imposed an export ban on alumina and aluminium ores to Russia as part of Western-led sanctions against Moscow. read more

Analysts had expected Russia could source the ingredient from China, though challenges exist as China needs to fulfill its domestic demand first and may be worried about secondary sanctions from the West. read more

The customs data also showed China's March imports of refined metal, scrap and ores.

Below is the table of metals imports last month, with figures in tonnes and percentage changes calculated by Reuters based on customs data for prior month and the year-earlier period.

Reporting by Min Zhang and Dominique Patton; Editing by Kim Coghill

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