LONDON, June 17 -- The global aluminum market was in surplus by 295,000 metric tons in the first four months of 2010, the World Bureau of Metal Statistics said Wednesday.
That compares with a 905,000-ton surplus in the same period of 2009, and with a surplus of 739,000 tons in the whole of 2009, the WBMS said.
Demand for primary aluminum in the four-month period totaled 13.2 million tons, 2.799 tons more than the equivalent total in 2009.
Overall, global production in the first four months rose by 19%, or 2.190 million tons, after a decline of 2.9 million tons throughout 2009. WBMS estimates China's output at 5.444 million tons in the first four months, accounting for 40% of total world production.
In April, primary aluminum production was 3.418 million tons and consumption was 3.374 million tons.
China is now a net exporter of unwrought aluminum, with exports exceeding imports by 43,000 tons. During 2009, Chinese net imports totaled 1.43 million tons.
At the end of April, total reported stocks were 6.53 million tons, equivalent to 67 days' demand and up from 6.48 million tons at the end of 2009.
Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, U.S. and Tokyo at the end of April were 4.964 million tons, almost double levels at the end of 2008.
Global producer stocks at the end of April were 1.21 million tons, 5,000 tons above end of 2009 levels.
No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes, especially those held in China.