India increased purchases of anodes from China throughout the first quarter of this year, with 75kt in total. So far, India has already become the largest importer of China anodes, over Malaysia who was the largest importer in 2013. The volumes India took within first quarter 2014 were 80% of 2012 and 65% of 2013 yet, as this chart shows.
There are three principle aluminium producers in India, including Nalco, Vedanta and Hindalco. Throughout fiscal year 2014-2015, Hindalco has said they will increase output by 50% to 1Mt, mainly from their new facilities located in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.
Nalco restarted 10 pots this week, meaning they will produce 410t more aluminium every month, and other pots will be restarted gradually. As for Vedanta, short supply of bauxite has limited aluminium production.
India’s domestic market shows aluminium demand rebounded to a certain degree, which encouraged aluminium smelters to raise production. At the same time, new capacity will consume more anodes in the coming months. Even if we only take Hindalco and Nalco’ s added production into account, India needs 275kt of extra anodes.
There doesn’t appear to be any change of strategy; the increased purchases of anodes seems to be a direct consequence of increased metal production.