Shanghai Nonferrous Metals News
SMM: China produced 5.56 mln t of alumina (SGA) in January 2020, with daily average output of 179 kt, down 1.12% m-o-m and down 9.36% y-o-y. The decline can be attributed to Guangxi Xinfa reducing its operational capacity to 1.8~2 mtpy in late December 2019 on a weak market and several refineries previously on production cuts or under suspensions held back resumption plans due to bauxite supply shortages (eg. Chalco Huaxing) or environmental reasons during the winter production cut period (eg. Henan Zhongmei and Luoyang Wanji), despite lower production costs during January 2020 led by falling bauxite and caustic soda prices.
According to SMM, China produced 3.07 mln t of primary aluminium in January 2020 and net alumina imports are estimated at 400 kt, indicative of a slight alumina supply surplus of 13 kt for the month.
China’s alumina capacity in operation is likely to drop to 64.41 mtpy as of 10 February with a total of 1.8 mtpy of capacity (including calcination process) being curtailed during the epidemic period.
SMM forecast domestic alumina output at 5.12 mln t in February, with the daily average output falling to 176 kt. Domestic primary aluminium output is expected at 2.88 mln t, with an estimate of 350 kt net alumina imports, China’s alumina supply will be short of approximately 85 kt in February 2020.