The demand for primary aluminium for January to March 2018 stood at 14.9 million tonnes, falling 343 kilo tonnes (kt) lower than its quota in the same quarter months of 2017, according to a World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS) report seen by businessamlive.
The calculated market balance for primary aluminium was a deficit of 141 kt, which followed a deficit of 1130 kilo tonnes recorded for the whole of 2017.
Production in the quarter, the report said, fell by 10 kt compared with the same period in 2017 just as total reported stocks rose by 272 kt during February and by a further 85 kt in March.
The increases included net deliveries into the Malaysian London Metal Exchange warehouses of 258 kt. Total stocks at the end of March 2018 were 2719 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 2312 kt at the end of March 2018 which was 373 kt above the December 2017 total.
It said no allowance is made in the consumption calculation for large unreported stock changes especially those held in Asia.
According to the report, no global production fell in January to March 2018 by 0.1 percent compared with the first quarter of 2017. Chinese output was estimated at 8119 kt and this currently accounts for about 55 percent of the world production total.
The report said Chinese demand was 1.5 percent lower than in January to March 2017, while Chinese net exports were 103 kt in January to March and net exports of unwrought aluminium for the whole of 2017 were 365 kt.
Net exports of aluminium semi manufactured from China rose from 858 kt in January to March 2017 to 1043 kt in the first quarter of 2018 but the production in the EU28 was 1.4 per cent higher than the previous year with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) output falling by 5.3 per cent.
EU28 demand was 22 kt lower than the comparable 2017 total. Global demand fell by 2.3 percent during January to March 2018 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.
In March 2018, primary aluminium production was 5013.4 kt and consumption was 5085.1 kt.
Frontpage November 21, 2018