United Company RusAl said Thursday that China’s aluminum imports will reach 3 million to 4 million metric tons a year by 2015 as the state restricts the use of outdated plants and its currency gains.
Imports will be driven by higher power tariffs in China, wage inflation and increased raw materials costs, RusAl said. The nation’s imports of primary aluminum in the 10 months to October were 192,572 tons, 86 percent less than the year before, customs data said.
Aluminum smelters in Henan, Guizhou, Qinghai provinces and Guangxi region suspended some capacity in October to meet Beijing’s 2010 energy-conservation goals. Some 20 percent of aluminum plants in China aren’t profitable at current prices, RusAl said.
China’s consumption of the metal will climb 12 percent next year to 18.6 million tons, compared with growth of 2 percent in EU nations, taking its share of global demand to more than 40 percent of RusAl’s 2011 prediction of 43.8 million tons. RusAl produced less than 4 million tons last year.