LONDON, July 22 -- The global aluminum market was in surplus by 296,000 metric tons in the first five months of 2010, the World Bureau of Metal Statistics said Wednesday.
That compares with a 809,000-ton surplus in the same period of 2009, and with a surplus of 769,000 tons in the whole of 2009, the WBMS said.
Demand for primary aluminum in the five-month period totaled 16.54 million tons, some 3.103 million tons more than the equivalent total in 2009.
Overall, global production in the first five months rose 18%, or 2.590 million tons, after a decline of 3.298 million tons throughout 2009. WBMS estimates China's output at 6.838 million tons in the first five months, accounting for almost 41% of total world production.
In May, primary aluminum production was 3.426 million tons and consumption was 3.241 million tons.
China is now a net exporter of unwrought aluminum, with exports exceeding imports by 77,000 tons. During 2009, Chinese net imports totaled 1.43 million tons.
At the end of May, total reported stocks were 6.67 million tons, equivalent to 68 days' demand and up from 6.48 million tons at the end of 2009.
Total stocks held in the four exchanges in London, Shanghai, the U.S. and Tokyo at the end of May were 5.051 million tons, almost double the amount at the end of 2008.
Global producer stocks at the end of May totaled 1.25 million tons, 45,000 tons above end-2009 levels.
No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes, especially those held in China.