BEIJING, Feb. 1 -- Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., the nation's biggest producer of the metal, expects Chinese demand for aluminum to grow 23 percent in 2010 from a year ago, Citigroup Inc. said.
China may consume 17 million metric tons of the lightweight metal, Hong Kong-based analyst Catherine Wang said in a research note today, citing the Beijing-based company known as Chalco.
Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum maker, forecast on Jan. 11 that global demand for the metal will increase 10 percent this year, led by China, the biggest consumer. Aluminum prices have surged 55 percent in the past 12 months in London as stimulus spending by the Chinese government spurred demand.
"Chalco sees continued recovery in Chinese and Western demand while additional supply is limited with already high run rates," the analyst wrote in the report after Chalco hosted visit.
Chalco expects aluminum prices to trade between $2,200 and $2,600 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and between 17,000 yuan and 18,500 yuan a ton on Shanghai Futures Exchange for 2010, the research note said.
Aluminum futures fell 0.2 percent to trade at 16,110 yuan a ton in Shanghai at 9:54 a.m. local time. The metal rose 0.3 percent to $2,086 a ton at the same time in London.
Chinese production of the metal will grow 28 percent to 17.5 million tons, Citigroup said, citing Chalco estimates. The nation may add 2 million tons of aluminum-making capacity this year to the existing 19.5 million tons, Chalco said, according to Citigroup.
Aluminum is used in packaging, window frames and aircrafts.