Primary aluminium market in deficit in January to July 2018

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The calculated market balance for primary aluminium in the year to July was a deficit of 302,000 tonnes, which follows a deficit of 1.146 million tonnes recorded for the whole of 2017, reports the World Bureau of Metal Statistics.

Demand for primary aluminium for January to July 2018 was 35.0 million tonnes, 758,000 tonnes less than in the same seven months of 2017. Production in January to July 2018 fell by 147,000 tonnes compared with the same period in 2017.

Producer stock data is no longer published, says WBMS, and total reported stocks increased by 53,000 tonnes during July and closed at the end of the month 234,000 tonnes above the December 2017 level. LME stocks rose by 88,000 tonnes during July mostly due to increases in Malaysia and Singapore. Total stocks at the end of July 2018 were 2.580 million tonnes which compares with 2.346 million at the end of 2017. Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo were 2.108 million at the end of July 2018 which were 165,000 tonnes above the December 2017 total.

Overall, global production fell in January to July 2018 by 0.4% compared with the year-ago period. Chinese output was estimated at 19.396 million tonnes and this currently accounts for almost 56% of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 1.1% lower than in January to July 2017. Chinese net exports were 103,000 tonnes in January to March and net exports of unwrought aluminium for the whole of 2017 were 365,000 tonnes.

Production in the EU 28 was 0.5% higher than the previous year and Nafta output fell by 5.8%. EU 28 demand was 100,000 tonnes higher than the comparable 2017 total. Global demand fell by 2.1% during January to July 2018 compared with the levels recorded a year earlier.

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