Brazilian ATH exports grow in Jan-Nov

By Davide Ghilotti
Published: Wednesday, 06 December 2017

Shipments of alumina trihydrate from Brazil to the United States continued to increase, while Japan regained its position as leading buyer, although it imported less than last year.

Brazilian exports of alumina trihydrate (ATH) continued their upwards trend in 2017, with the latest statistics showing a 16% increase in the first 11 months of the year against the same period of 2016.

ATH exports in January-November from the Latin American producer country reached 794,090 tonnes, compared with 686,826 tonnes a year ago, according to Brazil’s customs data.

In value terms, the trade this year generated $129.5 million, compared with $109.6 million at this time last year, marking a growth of 18%.

In November alone, Brazil exported 118,005 tonnes of ATH, worth $20.7 million.

The latest data points to a continuation of the growth in external trade – especially to North America – that was triggered by the closure of two large production facilities in the US in 2016 – Alcoa Inc’s Point Comfort plant and Sherwin Alumina Co’s plant, both in Texas.

In the first four months of this year, exports to the US rose by almost 150% year on year: the destination briefly overtook Japan as the single largest buyer of Brazilian ATH.

US purchasing of the material has continued unabated in the latter months of this year. In January-November, the country received 345,000 tonnes, worth $53.7 million. This compares with a lower 241,642 tonnes worth $37.1 million last year – a rise of 43% and 46% respectively.

In comparison, exports to Japan to date this year declined by around 20,000 tonnes (6%) to 375,454 tonnes. The Asian country has nevertheless regained its position as the largest buyer in the period, followed by the US.

Latin American markets, namely Argentina and Mexico, took a further share of trade, with 20,080 tonnes and 38,382 tonnes respectively. Minor markets include Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

In the full year of 2016, Brazilian ATH exports totaled 737,180 tonnes, amounting to a total turnover of $117.8 million, according to Brazilian trade statistics. January-November 2017 volumes have already exceeded that.

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