Commodity News
HeadLine : Global output drop fails to disperse aluminium gloom
Date : Jan 22 2020
Global aluminium production fell by 1.0% last year in its first annual contraction since the Global Financial Crisis in 2009. That should have been good news for the aluminium price, but London Metal Exchange three-month metal spent most of last year grinding steadily lower. The slide in October took prices to a two-and-a-half year low of $1,705 per tonne and they have struggled to stage any convincing recovery, last trading around $1,820. The problem is that a rare year of lower production coincided with an equally rare year of weak aluminium demand. Moreover, last year’s fall in production was largely down to China, the world’s largest aluminium-producing nation, and there is a market consensus that Chinese production growth has only paused before accelerating again this year. China’s production of primary aluminium fell by 1.9% last year, according to the International Aluminium Institute (IAI). The IAI’s estimate of national output last year was 35.8 million tonnes, slightly higher than the official assessment of 35.0 million tonnes released by the National Bureau of Statistics. However, both agencies agree that China’s giant aluminium sector produced less metal last year than in 2018. Although the Chinese government has set a capacity cap on aluminium production, the line in the sand has been drawn at 45 million tonnes, meaning there is plenty of room for higher output over the coming years.

Source: Reuters
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