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Global Aluminium market in slight deficit during Jan-April

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NEW YORK (Scrap Register): The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to April was a deficit of 91 kilo tons which follow a deficit of 1022 kilo tons recorded for the whole of 2017, according to the latest data released by the World Bureau of Metal Statistics.

April trade data for China is not available for technical reasons. Demand for primary aluminium for January to April 2018 was 19.77 million tonnes 489 kilo tons less than in the same four months of 2017.

Production in January to April 2018 fell by 51 kilo tons compared with the same period in 2017. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks rose by 112 kilo tons during March and by a further 17 kilo tons in April.

The increases included net deliveries into the Malaysian LME warehouses of 208 kilo tons. Total stocks at the end of April 2018 were 2757 kilo tons which compares with 2346 kilo tons at the end of 2017.

Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 2328 kilo tons at the end of April 2018 which was 440 kilo tons above the December 2017 total.

No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for large unreported stock changes especially those held in Asia.

Overall, global production fell in January to April 2018 by 0.3 per cent compared with the first four months of 2017. Chinese output was estimated at 10891 kilo tons and this currently accounts for about 55 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 1.0 per cent lower than in January to April 2017.

Chinese net exports were 103 kilo tons in January to March and net exports of unwrought aluminium for the whole of 2017 were 365 kilo tons. WBMS estimates that exports of aluminium semi manufactures by China were 390 kilo tons in April bringing the year to date figure to 1527 kilo tons which is 34% higher than the comparable period in 2017.

Production in the EU28 was 1.3 per cent higher than the previous year and NAFTA output fell by 5.1 per cent. EU28 demand was 39 kilo tons lower than the comparable 2017 total. Global demand fell by 2.4 per cent during January to April 2018 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In April 2018, primary aluminium production was 4966.7 kilo tons and consumption was 4954.5 kilo tons.

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