Shanghai Nonferrous Metals News
The epidemic of COVID-19 has had limited direct impact on domestic primary aluminium smelters with no production cuts in the short-term. Domestic primary aluminium output rose by 6.9% y-o-y to 2.87 mln t in February 2020, with annual operational capacity of 36.6 mtpy during the month. New capacity startups and resumptions were slow during February amid falling prices and rising costs – as a result of the epidemic – but overall operational capacity has been growing gradually, projecting a y-o-y growth in March output.
The epidemic has hit hard on domestic aluminium processers, represented by delays in resumption schedules, a lack of workers and limited new orders. The operational rates of domestic processers slumped in February 2020, and some producers have postponed resumption plans by 1~3 weeks, while others will not restart until mid-March. With improved logistics, workers returning to work and new orders, the operational rate of downstream processers is likely to rebound rapidly in March.