Shanxi is one of the country’s production hubs
for refractory-grade bauxite. It introduced the Level One
emergency response on January 25, following the plan set by the
country’s central government after the coronavirus
emerged in Wuhan, in Hubei province.
Under the Level One response plan, the Chinese new year
holiday was extended to February 9 in Shanxi, and bauxite
factories were shut down until they received further approval
According to market participants, the adjustment of the
emergency response level is a positive sign in terms of the
fight against the virus, and might contribute to improving the
state of industrial operations in Shanxi.
From February 25, producers of calcined bauxite in Xiaoyi
and Yangquan have reported improved cross-border logistics and
operational restarts, but calcination operations were still
limited by a lack of raw material because mining remains at a
"In Yangquan, some calcined bauxite factories began
operations and transport of material to the port city of
Tianjin starting from this week," a bauxite producer told
Fastmarkets. "But calcination activities are rare because of a
lack of bauxite ore."
The same producer added that logistics have improved
compared with last week and drivers were gradually returning to
Concerns remained over the sourcing of raw materials, especially
those used in the calcining of 85% and 86% grades of
"Mining is not allowed at the moment and we
don’t know the timeline [for a resumption of
bauxite ore mining]," a second bauxite producer in Xiaoyi said.
"If the situation continues, there is the risk of a shortage of
calcined bauxite, considering that producers and traders are
filling orders from existing inventory. But the good news is
that cross-border movement is becoming easier so bauxite
material can be moved from Shanxi to Tianjin without too much
Bauxite prices went up in the two weeks to February 20,
according to Fastmarkets’ latest fortnightly
Fastmarkets assessed the price of bauxite, refractory-grade, 85%/2.0/3.15-3.2
(0-6mm), fob Xingang, at $390-405 per tonne on Thursday, up
by 2% on the midpoint from a fortnight earlier.
Over the same assessment period, the price of bauxite, refractory-grade, 86%/2.0/3.15-3.2
(0-6mm), fob Xingang, rose to $405-430 per tonne, from
$400-420 per tonne.
Meanwhile, the price of bauxite, refractory-grade, 87%/2.0/3.15-3.2
(0-6mm), fob Xingang, increased to $430-445 per tonne from
the previous assessment at $420-440 per tonne.
And the assessment for bauxite, refractory-grade, 88%/2.0/3.15-3.2
(0-6mm), fob Xingang, was $450-460 per tonne, up from
$440-450 per tonne.