JBI Bulletin - September 2019

Total bauxite production dipped in September as the suspension of Alpart’s operation took effect. The refinery has been grappling with high production costs due to its ageing infrastructure. Therefore, activities at the plant are being curtailed to facilitate upgrading works. Total bauxite output in the review period amounted to 703kt, down 26% year-over-year. This outturn brings year-to-date production to 7.2 million tonnes, which is 5.0% below the levels recorded over the same period in 2018.

Crude bauxite output was marginally higher in September, up 1% to 260kt when compared with the corresponding month last year. The increase did little to close the gap between the 2018 and 2019 year-to-date production levels. For the first nine months, crude bauxite production amounted to 2.3 million tonnes, down 11% relative to the comparable period of 2018. Lower uptake of crude bauxite by China continues to impact the sector.

Alumina production fell by 39% to 161kt year-on-year due primarily to the suspension of operations at the Alpart plant. The outturn for the month has reversed the progress seen over the last eight months, with year-to-date production now 1% lower than levels registered over the same period last year.

During the month, the alumina refineries operated at an average capacity utilization of 53%, down from 84% recorded over the same period last year. Read more