Alu­minium pro­duc­tion rises 0.4 per­cent on China’s out­put

Business a.m. - - COMMODITIES & AGRICULTURE - Sto­ries by Temi­tayo Ayetoto

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.

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