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Chinese apparent Aluminium demand increases 4.4 percent

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LONDON (Scrap Register): The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to December was a deficit of 859 kt which follows a deficit of 1209 kt recorded for the whole of 2017, according to World Bureau of Metal Statistics.

Chinese trade data is now available up to December 2018. Demand for primary aluminium for January to December 2018 was 60.524 million tonnes 685 kt more than in the whole of 2017.

Production in January to December 2018 rose by 1036 kt compared with the same period in 2017. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks rose by 186 kt during December and closed at the end of the month 58 kt above the December 2017 level.

Total LME stocks rose by 225 kt during December with stocks in Malaysia rising by a further 185 kt whilst other stocks in Asia were 45 kt higher. Total stocks at the end of December 2018 were 2404 kt which compares with 2346 kt at the end of 2017.

Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 1951 kt at the end of December 2018 which were 9 kt higher than in December 2017 total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for large unreported stock changes especially those held in Asia.

Overall, global production rose in January to December 2018 by 1.8 per cent compared with the whole of 2017. Chinese output was estimated at 33586 kt and this currently accounts for 56 per cent of the world production total.

Chinese apparent aluminium demand was 4.4 per cent higher than in January to December 2017. Chinese net exports of unwrought aluminium were 363 kt during 2018 which compares with 365 kt in the comparable period in 2017. January to December 2018 net exports of aluminium semi manufactures were 4681 kt which compares with 3847 kt for the whole of 2017.

Production in the EU28 was 0.5 per cent lower than the previous year and NAFTA output fell by 3.4 per cent. EU28 demand was 360 kt higher than the comparable 2017 total. Global demand was virtually unchanged during January to December 2018 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In December 2018, primary aluminium production was 5242.1 kt and consumption was 5191.7 kt.

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