Chinese exports of fused magnesia (FM) fell in June both
versus the previous month and last year, as the data starts
to reflect the supply tightness that has been affecting
magnesia production operations in the country in recent
Shipments of Chinese FM dropped 18% in June year-on-year
(y-o-y) to 31,178 tonnes, also down 7% on a month-on-month
(m-o-m) basis, according to China Customs.
The June data marks a turning point for magnesia exports,
which had been increasing to record highs in early 2017 up to
April, following the scrapping of export quotas and duties
late last year.
In the case of FM, exports had been increasing at a pace of
over 60% y-o-y in March and April, following a 20% rise in May,
before the sharp drop the following month.
The upward trend in exports, as shown in the customs data,
likely portrayed the increased buying activity seen in the
market in the first month of the year when prices dropped as
buyers capitalistic on the duty-free environment.
Since then FM supply has been the first to be seriously
curtailed in Chinese production areas since Q1 this year,
following the widespread shutdown of facilities during
anti-pollution inspections, and the shortage of high-quality
source materials, due to limitations to magnesite mining.
As availability slumped, prices of the commodity have
Dead burned magnesia (DBM) exports meanwhile continued to
show a y-o-y increase in June, but fell 9% m-o-m to 72,028
tonnes. Against year-ago levels, the material continued to mark
double-digit increases, rising 14% against June 2016.
While availability and stock levels of DBM were higher than
in FM, the extensive production shutdown has come to affect
also DBM grades, which have appreciated over the last few
In the case of caustic calcined magnesia (CCM) the latest
statistics continued to show growth in volume traded.
June exports of Chinese CCM, at 35,974 tonnes, were 5% up
y-o-y and 9% higher m-o-m.
Orbite eligible for new financing
Canadian high-purity alumina (HPA) producer Orbite
Technologies Inc. has completed the process of debt in
possession (DIP) financing, it announced in late July.
The company submitted a proposal to the Superior Court of
Québec (CCAA Court) to be granted $6.8m in additional
funding, with a view to use it to increase working capital and
as means towards the restructuring strategy.
Following the completion of the process, the company has now
received an initial tranche of Canadian dollar C$4.6m
($3.6m*). The remaining C$2.2m were transferred to be held in
trust by PricewaterhouseCoopers, in its capacity as
court-appointed monitor of the company’s
The second tranche will be released to Orbite upon approval
of the CCAA Court, the company said.
The DIP originated in part from the holders of Convertible
Secured Debentures (these are company-issued loans convertible
into stocks), and in part from a super-priority charge over the
"There can be no guarantees that company will otherwise be
successful in its restructuring efforts and will emerge from
CCAA protection," Orbite said.
Orbite is also seeking to extend the creditor protection
status currently in place until 30 November.
In its second-quarter results, the company recorded a
deepening of losses to C$ 2.2m, adding to a previous
multi-million dollar loss suffered in Q1.