Chinese aluminium output increased, and prices rebounded in 2020 from the prior year with the output of alumina, electrolytic aluminium, and aluminium rising to 73.13mn mt, 37.08mn mt, and 57.79mn mt, respectively, up by 0.3pc, 4.9pc, and 8.6pc from the prior year, according to the data shared by China’s National Bureau of Statistics.
Affected by the restrictions on the import of waste materials, China’s aluminium scrap imports drop by 40.8pc to 830,000mt from the prior year. Due to the spread of COVID-19, trade frictions, and domestic and foreign price differences, the export of aluminium products fell to 4.63mn mt, a decrease of 10pc from the prior year. While volatile prices of alumina and unwrought aluminium spurred imports up to 3.81mn mt and 2.3mn mt, respectively, an increase of 131.3pc and 689pc from the prior year.
Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology emphasized that the aluminium industry would continue its supply-side structural reforms and control new electrolytic aluminium production capacity and implement capacity replacement projects.
Social inventory of aluminium ingots in late December was 590,000mt, 65pc lower than the high point 2020, according to local media. Since April, aluminium prices have gradually increased, according to the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association. The average spot price in December reached CNY16,480/mt ($2,552.07/mt), an increase of 15pc from the prior year, a record high; the annual average spot price was CNY14,193/mt ($2,197.87/mt), an increase of 1.7pc from the prior year.
While China’s total aluminium product trade reached CNY27.2bn in 2020, an increase of 3.4pc from the prior year, as per customs data. Export trade at CNY13.5bn, down by13.6pc from the prior year while import trade was CNY13.7bn, up by 28.3pc.
In terms of imports, the supply of overseas bauxite continued to increase, with an annual import volume of 111.56mn mt with an increase of 10.9pc from the prior year.