The global primary aluminum market remained in surplus in January-September at 1.60mn mt compared with a surplus of 480,000mt for all of 2019.
However, the demand for the metal increased by 0.87pc or 417,000mt to 48.26mn mt in January-September 2020 from the same period last year, according to the latest World Bureau of Metals Statistics (WBMS) data. In September alone, global aluminum demand stood at 5.46mn mt.
In China, demand increased by 9.9pc in January-September on an annual basis and the country became a net importer of unwrought aluminum. Net exports of semis from China were reported at 3.66mn mt in January-September down by 24pc from 4.80mn mt during the same period last year. Demand for primary aluminum in the EU was 1.08mn mt lower than the whole of last year.
Global output up
WBMS did not disclose the production volumes of primary aluminum in the first nine months of 2020 but noted that global output rose by 3.9pc compared with January-September 2019. Global primary aluminum output in September was reported 5.59mn mt. Of the total global production in January-September, WBMS noted that output from China accounted for more than half the global production at 2.74mn mt.
The bureau attributed the high yield from the Asian nation to more availability of imported raw materials like bauxite and alumina. In the EU, primary aluminum production declined by 1pc from January-September 2019, while the North American output increased by 4.1pc during the same period under comparison.