Aluminium production rises 0.4 percent on China’s output
FOR THE FIRST EIGHT MONTHS of 2018, global production of aluminium rose by 0.4 percent compared with the same period of 2017 on the support of Chinese output estimated at 22323 kt and which currently accounts for 56 percent of the world’s total production, the World Bureau of Metals Statistics has revealed in a report seen by business a.m.
Chinese apparent demand was 0.6 percent higher than in January to August 2017, with net exports at 103 kt in January to March and net exports of unwrought aluminium for the whole of 2017 at 365 kt.
Production in the EU28 was 0.5 percent higher than the previous year and NAFTA output fell by 5.0 percent. EU28 demand was 236 kt higher than the comparable 2017 total. In August 2018, primary aluminium production was 5134.2 kt and consumption was 5262.8 kt.
However, global demand fell by 0.4 percent during January to August 2018 compared with the levels recorded one year previously. Demand for primary aluminium for January to August 2018 was 40.5 million tonnes 148 kt less than in the same eight months of 2017.
The calculated market balance for primary aluminium was a deficit of 643 kt which follows a deficit of 1153 kt recorded for the whole of 2017.
LME stocks fell by 127 kt during August mostly due to decreases in Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Netherlands.
Total stocks at the end of August 2018 were 2444 kt which compares with 2346 kt at the end of 2017. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 1959 kt at the end of August 2018 which were 16 kt higher than in December 2017 total.
For copper market, a deficit of 25.3 kt was recorded in January to August 2018 which follows a surplus of 93.8 kt in the whole of 2017. Reported stocks fell during August and closed 31 kt higher than at the end of December 2017. These decreases included net deliveries of 30 kt out LME warehouses in Asia as Asian LME stocks reached a peak for the year so far of 217.8 kt in March 2018.
World mine production in January to August 2018 was 13.57 million tonnes which was 1.4 percent higher than in the same period in 2017. Global refined production for January to August 2018 was 15.57 million tonnes up 0.6 per cent compared with the previous year with a significant increase recorded in China.
Global consumption for January to August 2018 was 15.60 million tonnes compared with 15.43 million tonnes for the same months of 2017.
WBMS estimates that imports of refined copper into China were about 370 kt in August bringing the year to date figure to 3.0 million tonnes. Chinese estimated demand for January to August 2018 was 8123 kt which was six percent above the previous year’s total and represented just over 52 percent of the global total.
For lead market, a deficit of 87.9 kt in January to August 2018 was recorded following a deficit of 393 kt recorded in the whole of 2017. Total stocks at the end of August were 36.7 kt lower than at the end of 2017.
World refined production during January to August 2018 from both primary and secondary sources was 7567 kt which was 1.55 per cent higher than in the comparable months of 2017. Chinese demand was estimated at 101 kt below the comparable period in 2017 and represented just under 41 percent of the global total. For the USA, apparent demand decreased by 10 kt for January to August 2018 compared to the same months of 2017.
Unlike copper and lead, the zinc market was in surplus by 20.6 kt during January to August 2018 which compares with a deficit of 439 kt recorded in the whole of the previous year. Reported stocks rose by 16 kt during January to August with a net decrease in Shanghai of 39 kt over the period. LME stocks rose earlier in the year, declined by 11.1 kt during July and rose slightly in August closing at 239.2 kt which compares with 181 kt at the end of 2017. LME stocks represent 36 percent of the global total with the bulk of the metal held in US warehouses.
Global refined production fell by 2.0 per cent and consumption was 5.4 percent lower than the levels recorded one year earlier. Japanese apparent demand was, at 346.3 kt, 7.5 percent above the equivalent total for January to August 2017. The March figure was higher than usual due to a decline of 9.3 kt in producer stocks at the end of the Japanese fiscal year.
World demand was 497 kt lower than for January to August 2017 but Chinese apparent demand was 3963 kt which is 45 percent of the global total.
The Nickel market was in deficit during January to August 2018 with apparent demand exceeding production by 56.3 kt. In the whole of 2017 the calculated deficit was 46.3 kt. Reported stocks held in the LME at the end of August 2018 were 16 kt higher than at the end of the previous year. Refined production in January to July 2018 totalled 1087.8 kt and demand was 1131.1 kt.
Mine production during January to August was 1468 kt, 160 kt above the comparable 2017 total. Chinese smelter or refinery output increased by 3 kt compared with 2017 and apparent demand was 19 kt higher than in the previous year. World apparent demand was 104 kt higher than the previous year.
For the tin market, a deficit of 7.7 kt was recorded during January to August 2018 with no DLA deliveries during the period. Global reported production of refined metal was down by 5 kt, compared with the January to August 2017 total. Production in Asia was 5.3 kt lower than the January to August 2017 total. Apparent demand in China was 8 percent lower than the equivalent period of the previous year.
Global tin demand during January to August was 249.0 kt which was 0.5 per cent below the comparable period of 2017. Japanese consumption was 19.0 kt which was 1.0 kt below the comparable total for January to August 2017.