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Chinese spot alumina price rangebound as market returns from holidays

Singapore — The Platts China Shanxi daily spot alumina assessment stood unchanged Monday at Yuan 2,765/mt ($410/mt) full cash terms as the Chinese market returned from extended holidays to celebrate the Lunar New Year from February 4-10.

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Spot trade activity remained at a standstill as some market participants have just returned while others remained on holidays, sources said. By tradition, Lunar New Year lasts for 15 days, and some may take longer leave days on top of the official holiday period, sources added.

"It's just the first day back, there'll be no changes yet. Prices are unlikely to change in the next few days until people settle back," a Shanxi refiner said. "Buyers also stocked up before the holidays and will now stall in wait of lower prices," he added.

A Shanghai trader agreed: "Nothing has been traded, it's just the first day back. There was talk of some alumina refineries cutting back ... just before the holidays, so everyone is waiting for clearer direction now."

Tradable spot levels continued to be mostly indicated at Yuan 2,750-2,780/mt cash on Monday, with sell ideas at around Yuan 2,800/mt, multiple refiners, smelters and traders said.

The front-month primary aluminum contract on Shanghai Futures Exchange closed at Yuan 13,285/mt on Monday, down from Yuan 13,500/mt on February 1 before the holidays. The closing price was also down from Yuan 13,300/mt a month ago.

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-- Edited by Irene Tang,