The demand for primary aluminum fell by 583,000mt to 59.11mn mt in January-November 2020 on an annual basis, according to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS).
Demand for aluminum was measured by WBMS on an apparent basis since the full effect of the COVID-19 related lockdowns may not be reflected in the current data available with the bureau. WBMS reported that primary aluminum production increased by 2pc in the first 11 months of 2020 compared with the same previous-year period, with production in November tallying at 5.71mn mt.
Of the total production in January-November, the output from China was estimated at 33.79mn mt accounting for more than half of the world’s aluminum production during the timeframe. Apparent demand in the Asian country also rose by 6.6pc compared with January-November 2019, while its semi-manufactures’ output increased by 8.8pc. The bureau attributed these increases to the higher availability of imported bauxite and alumina in China.
In the EU, production fell by 0.5pc compared with the first 11 months of 2019 but increased in North America by 4.2pc during the same period. Demand for aluminum in the EU was pegged 1.17mn mt below January-November 2019 while global demand fell by 1pc during the same period under comparison. Global apparent demand in November tallied at around 5.46mn mt.
WBMS noted that the aluminum market continued the trend of remaining in surplus with supply exceeding demand by 2.08mn mt in the first 11 months of 2020, increasing substantially from a surplus of 448,000mt estimated at the end of 2019.