The demand for aluminum plates and strips abroad and waste aluminum at home is growing rapidly.
China is the world's largest producer and consumer of aluminum, and aluminum and its products are deeply integrated into China's import and export trade. Based on the data and information of the General Administration of Customs, this paper analyzes the import and export trade of aluminum and its products in China at a multi-level since 2016, clearly presents the complex import and export structure and changes of aluminum and its products, and gives conclusions.
[Position of aluminum and its products in Chinese customs codes]
Customs coding is HS coding, also known as the harmonized system, is the abbreviation of " Harmonized System of Commodity Names and Numbers". HS coding is a commodity classification coding system for tariff and trade statistics developed under the auspices of the World Customs Organization. In international trade, it is necessary to accurately classify the import and export commodities into HS categories and numbers according to the nature, use, function or processing degree of the commodity. HS has been used by more than 200 countries in the world, and more than 98% of the total global trade volume of goods are classified by HS.
The first two digits of HS code represent "Class" and "Chapter" respectively, a total of 22 classes and 98 chapters, the third and fourth digits represent "Item", a total of 1241 4-digit items, the fifth and sixth digits represent "Sub-item", a total of 5113 6-digit sub-items. The first 6 digits of HS code are internationally common codes, and the sub-items subdivided by each country after 6 digits are based on the basic principles and regulations of HS code and according to the actual situation of the country, without violating the basic principles and regulations of HS code.
China Customs has adopted HS code since 1992, and the code was increased to 13 digits after the formal merger of China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Department into China Customs in 2018. Among them, the first to eight digits are the commodity codes determined by the Import and Export Tariff of the People's Republic of China and the Commodity Catalogue of the People's Republic of China compiled on the basis of the coordinated system; the ninth and tenth digits are the additional numbers of customs supervision; the eleventh to thirteenth digits are the CIQ additional codes, which are the additional numbers of inspection and quarantine. When applying for customs declaration, the latest 13-digit HS code must be filled in.
HS code has 22 categories (Chapters 72--83). Among them, Chapter 15 is base metals and their products, including iron and steel and non-ferrous metals such as copper, aluminum, lead, zinc, tin. Aluminum and its products are mainly located in Chapter 76 of HS code.
According to the above basic information, we can use the Chinese customs data in recent years to analyze the import and export trade of aluminum and its products in China. Chapter 76 of the customs code contains 16 sub-headings of aluminum and its products. According to the general division method of the industry, all 16 sub-headings of aluminum and its products under Chapter 76 can be divided into four parts: first, unwrought aluminum (including aluminum alloy), second, waste aluminum, third, aluminum materials, and fourth, aluminum products. Among them, the heading of unwrought aluminum (including aluminum alloy) is 7601, the heading of waste aluminum is 7602, the heading of aluminum materials includes 7603-7609, and the heading of aluminum products includes 7610-7616.
It is worth noting that the statistics of aluminum and its products in a broad sense are in Chapter 76, but the photovoltaic aluminum frame can be classified not only as 761090 (other aluminum structures and parts) in Chapter 76, but also as 854190 (parts of goods listed in item 8541) in Chapter 85. Because aluminum is widely used in other chapters of deep-processing commodities (such as automobiles), it is impossible to completely calculate the import and export trade of aluminum and its products in China. However, this statistical difficulty is only limited to aluminum products and some aluminum, unwrought aluminum (including aluminum alloys) and waste aluminum are basically fully counted in Chapter 76 (the customs does not list the import and export of some small countries and regions, such as Guam, which will be added in 2023), so Chapter 76 still has statistical significance. This paper only takes Chapter 76 as the research scope to investigate the import and export trade pattern of aluminum and its products in China. The following aluminum and its products refer to the part of the statistics in Chapter 76 of China Customs code.
The Development and Change of Import and Export Trade of Aluminum and Its Products in Our Country
Based on the monthly statistical data of Chapter 76 of the General Administration of Customs by country and region from 2016 to 2023, this paper analyzes the chapter, item and sub-item of China's import and export trade of aluminum and its products layer by layer.
The export volume of aluminum and its products in China has shown a slow increase year by year. The import volume is relatively stable, showing a slight decrease trend from 2016 to 2019. The domestic demand recovered quickly in the first half of 2020, but the overseas economic downturn led to the decrease of external demand.
In 2022, China's electrolytic aluminum output will be 400.46 million tons, and the output of recycled aluminum will be 9 million tons. The export volume of aluminum and its products will be 9.244 million tons, accounting for 18.8% of China's aluminum supply; the import volume will be 3.953 million tons, accounting for 8.1% of China's aluminum supply. Considering the part not included in the statistics, the import and export of aluminum and its products will have a very large impact on the supply and demand of China's aluminum market.
Analysis of commodity
Among the 16 items of aluminum and its products, the largest export is aluminum plate and strip, followed by aluminum foil, aluminum structure and parts, aluminum bars, rods and profiles, household aluminum appliances and parts. The largest import is unwrought aluminum (including aluminum alloy), followed by scrap aluminum, and the import of other items is very small.
In comparison, the main items of import and export are basically staggered, and there is no item with both large import and export volume. The import is mainly unwrought aluminum (including aluminum alloy), waste aluminum and other primary raw materials, while the export is mainly aluminum, aluminum products and other processed products.
In terms of export, aluminum plates and strips contributed to the main increment of aluminum and its products export, and the exports of 15 items except aluminum plates and strips were relatively stable.
In terms of import, unwrought aluminum is mainly dominated by the difference between domestic and foreign prices, contributing to the main increment of aluminum and its products import. Waste aluminum is mainly dominated by waste aluminum import policy, changing from reduction to increase. Since 2018, China's waste aluminum import policy has become stricter, and the import of low-grade waste aluminum is banned, so China's waste aluminum import gradually decreased from 2018 to 2019. After 2020, the domestic demand is strong, the waste aluminum import policy is loosened, and the waste aluminum import gradually increases.
In 2018, the US Department of Commerce imposed double anti-industry damage sanctions on aluminum alloy sheet imported from China. Although China's exports of aluminum sheet and strip to the US decreased sharply, China's exports to other major countries and regions increased rapidly, so the US double anti-sanctions did not affect the overall export of China's aluminum sheet and strip.
Import items mainly focus on unwrought aluminum and scrap aluminum. From 2020 to 2021, the aluminum import profit window opened, and India, Russia and Malaysia contributed to the main import increment of unwrought aluminum. Russia and Malaysia contributed to the main import increment at the beginning. The import window closed at the end of 2021, and the import of unwrought aluminum in India decreased sharply. Then the conflict between Russia and Ukraine occurred, and Russia's aluminum was boycotted by the West, and China's import of unwrought aluminum from Russia increased rapidly. As can be seen from the import profit chart, the increase in the import of aluminum ingot from Russia is mainly due to the opening of the import window, which squeezes the import of aluminum ingot from other countries and regions, rather than bringing excess imports. As for scrap aluminum, the United States contributed to the main import reduction, while Malaysia and Japan contributed to the main import increment.
Further, the 16 items in Chapter 76 are divided into four categories: unwrought aluminum (including aluminum alloy), waste aluminum, aluminum materials and aluminum products for analysis.
In terms of export, China used to be a net importer of aluminum. Nowadays, China's aluminum production accounts for more than half of the world's aluminum production, and the export volume of aluminum and aluminum products is increasing. China's exports are mainly aluminum, followed by aluminum products. Unwrought aluminum (including aluminum alloys) is traded based on the difference between domestic and foreign prices. In the first half of last year, the energy crisis in Europe occurred, and the export window of unwrought aluminum (including aluminum alloys) briefly opened, but the overall export trend is decreasing. Aluminum contributes to the main increment of aluminum and its products export, and the export of aluminum products grows slowly and relatively steadily.
In terms of import, China mainly imports scrap aluminum, followed by unwrought aluminum (including aluminum alloys). The import volume of aluminum is small and relatively stable, and the import of aluminum products is very small and negligible.
The previous article has analyzed the situation of unwrought aluminum (including aluminum alloy) and waste aluminum by countries and regions. Here, we further analyze the situation of aluminum and aluminum products by countries and regions.
China's aluminum exports are relatively scattered, there is no very concentrated country, in recent years the highest proportion of aluminum exports in the United States is only 7%. China's aluminum products exports are also relatively scattered, but the United States accounts for 17%, followed by Japan, Australia and other countries.
Specific to sub-headings, we are mainly concerned about all sub-headings 76011010 (unwrought non-alloy aluminium containing aluminum content ≥99.95%), 76011090 (unwrought non-alloy aluminium containing aluminum content <99.95% but ≥90%), 76012000 (aluminum alloy), and 76020000 (waste aluminium), the only sub-heading of 7602? . These four subcategories have certain connections and research significance: unwrought aluminum (including aluminum alloy) 7601 is divided into non-alloy aluminum 760110 (containing aluminum content ≥ 99%, and the content of other elements does not exceed the provisions), aluminum alloy 760120. Among them, non-alloy aluminum 760110 includes 76011010 (containing aluminum content ≥ 99.95% of unwrought non-alloy aluminum), 76011020 (containing aluminum content < 99.95% but ≥ 90% of unwrought non-alloy aluminum). 760120 includes not only primary aluminum alloy, but also recycled aluminum alloy, and aluminum scrap is classified as waste aluminum 7602.
It can be seen that after the stricter waste aluminum import policy in 2018, the amount of waste aluminum import gradually decreased, but the aluminum alloy began to grow gradually at the end of 2019. This is because due to the limitation of import policy, enterprises chose to directly import aluminum ingots for waste aluminum recycling and processing without policy restrictions, which were counted as 76012000 under 7601. After the relaxation of waste aluminum import policy at the end of 2020, aluminum alloy and waste aluminum together became the two main components of China's recycled aluminum resource import.
In summary, after the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the increase in aluminum imports from Russia is mainly due to the opening of the import window, which squeezes the import of aluminum ingot from other countries and regions, rather than bringing excess imports. Second, China's import of aluminum and its products is mainly unwrought aluminum (including aluminum alloys) and waste aluminum and other primary raw materials, while the export is mainly processed products such as aluminum and aluminum products, and the main items of import and export are basically staggered. Third, the US double anti-sanctions have not affected the overall export of China's aluminum plate and strip, mainly because China's export to other major countries and regions has grown rapidly. Fourth, China's exports of aluminum and aluminum products are relatively scattered, with less political risk. Fifth, by the end of 2020, aluminum alloys and waste aluminum have become the two main components of China's recycled aluminum resources import.