Chinas bauxite export licence system has been abolished for 2013 amid pressure from the World Trade Organization (WTO), market sources told IM.
The system, whose current incarnation was introduced in 2005, controlled the exports of refractory grade bauxite and its removal could free up trade in the future despite excess licences in 2011.
The Chinese government has made no official announcement but a number of companies that operate inside of China have confirmed to IM that the licenses will indeed be abolished for 2013.
Bauxite, the main feedstock for aluminium, is a 220m tpa industry supplied mainly out of Australia, but Chinas significance lies in its dominance of the refractory grade calcined bauxite industry, where it supplies roughly 75% of world output. The remaining production comes from Russia, India, Guyana and Brazil.
China has steadily reduced its bauxite export quotas by 25% during the past five...