LONDON (Scrap Register): The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to February 2019 was a deficit of 20.6 kt which follows a deficit of 932 kt recorded for the whole of 2018. Chinese trade data is now available up to February 2019, according to World Bureau of Metal Statistics.
Demand for primary aluminium for January to February 2019 was 9.95 million tonnes 186 kt more than in the same two months of 2018. Production in January to February 2019 rose by 330 kt compared with the same period in 2018.
Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks fell slightly during February and closed at the end of the month 49 kt above the December 2018 level. Total LME stocks fell fractionally during February but stocks in Malaysia rose by 17 kt but other stocks in Asia declined. Total stocks at the end of February 2019 were 2452 kt which compares with 2404 kt at the end of 2018.
Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 1976 kt at the end of February 2019 which were 25 kt higher than in December 2018 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 February 2019 by 3.4 per cent compared with the first two months of 2018. Chinese output was estimated at 5688 kt and this currently accounts for 57 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 7.1 per cent higher than in January to February 2018.
Chinese net exports of unwrought aluminium were 48 kt during January to February 2019 which compares with 67 kt in the comparable period in 2018. January to February 2019 net exports of aluminium semi manufactures were 761 kt which compares with 664 kt for the first two months of 2018.
Production in the EU28 was 0.9 per cent lower than the previous year and NAFTA output rose by 6.8 per cent. EU28 demand was 104 kt lower than the comparable 2018 total. Global demand rose by 2 per cent during January to February 2019 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.
In February 2019, primary aluminium production was 4881.7 kt and consumption was 4875.0 kt.