More refractory minerals production in China is expected to
be shut down as the ministry of environmental protection (MEP)
urged local authorities to take swift actions ahead of severe
pollution on 2 December.
On 30 November, MEP issued warnings on extremely polluted
weather in areas around Beijing and Tianjin between 2
– 4 December. The MEP also sent warning letters to six
provinces – Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong
and Henan – to remind provincial governments to
take precautions against harmful air quality.
In previous anti-pollution related shutdowns, production
facilities within 600km of Beijing were closed when the smog
levels get to such a harmful level.
According to the MEP update, industrial production at 224
plants in Shanxi, 175 in Henan, 149 in Shandong and 17 in Hebei
have either been capped or halted from
January-October this year. In total, output was restricted at
565 facilities from these four provinces, which account for 17%
of total production cap in China.
During the first ten months of the year, facilities that did
not meet environmental standards were also seized and shut. 181
plants in Beijing, 17 in Tianjin, 22 in Hebei, 122 in Shanxi,
258 in Shandong and 593 in Henan were seized. 1193 properties
from the six provinces were shut, which account for 20% of
China’s anti-pollution related closures.
China is one of the world biggest supplier of refractory
Up to 90% of refractories minerals are produced in Shanxi
province, with the region holding most of the bauxite
resources, one supplier told IM.
There is also a concentration of fused alumina production
facilities in Henan.
"The production halt in Shanxi is definitely going to have a
big impact," the supplier said.
Although Guizhou province also has bauxite mining
operations, the production is smaller than Shanxi province.
"There is no stock in Guizhou and even if there is, it will
be more expensive," the supplier said.
November, Taiyuan municipal government imposed a city-wide
industrial stoppage in the Shanxi province’s
capital city until end-2016.
Despite supply restrictions due to the stricter
anti-pollution control, refractory-grade bauxite and brown
fused alumina prices have not increased this past week,
according to market participants who put the lack of impact to
date due to on-going weak demand.
Spot prices for Shanxi-origin, 85%
Al2O3 (0-6mm) bauxite were
assessed at $270-300/tonne on a FOB Xingang basis, 1 December,
material was traded at $280-300/tonne, both unchanged
Spot prices for 95.5%
Al2O3 min brown fused alumina
(refractory sized 0-1,1-3,3-5mm) held at $585-600/tonnes, also
unchanged w-o-w, according to
IM’s assessment on 1
on IM’s bauxite and alumina
prices can be found on the IM Pricing