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Primary Aluminium market in deficit in Jan-July 2019: WBMS

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LONDON (Scrap Register): The calculated market balance for primary aluminium for January to July 2019 was a deficit of 651000 tonnes which follows a deficit of 855000 tonnes recorded for the whole of 2018, the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS) said in its latest report.

Demand for primary aluminium for January to July 2019 was 36.5 million tonnes, 655000 tonnes more than in the same seven months of 2018.

Production in January to July 2019 rose by 783000 tonnes compared with the same period in 2018. Producer stock data is no longer published and total reported stocks rose slightly during July and closed at the end of the month 530 kt below the December 2018 level. Total LME stocks also rose during July, mostly in Malaysian warehouses.

Total stocks at the end of July 2019 were 1.89 million tonnes which compares with 2.429 million tonnes at the end of 2018. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 1.43 million tonnes at the end of July 2019 which were 521000 tonnes lower 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 July 2019 by 2.2% compared with the first seven months of 2018. Chinese output was estimated at 20.415 million tonnes and this currently accounts for about 57% of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 7.5% higher than in January to July 2018. Chinese net exports of unwrought aluminium were 250000 tonnes during January to July 2019 which compares with 236000 tonnes in the comparable period in 2018. January to July 2019 net exports of aluminium semi manufactures were 2.899 million tonnes tonnes which compares with 2.542 million tonnes for the first seven months of 2018.

Production in the EU28 was 2.2% lower than the previous year and NAFTA output rose by 6.7%. EU28 demand was 195000 tonnes lower than the comparable 2018 total. Global demand rose by 1.8% during January to July 2019 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.

In July 2019, primary aluminium production was 5255800 tonnes and consumption was 5077600 tonnes.

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