SHANGHAI, Aug. 30 (SMM) --
According to the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA), China's alumina output was 2.40 million mt during July, down 0.01% MoM. China's alumina capacity in July was estimated to be 28.21 million mt/yr based on output data and SMM statistical models, and was down 944 kt/yr, or 3.24%, on a monthly basis. New alumina capacity added during 1H 2010 was limited, so monthly alumina output during July was estimated based on an annual capacity of 28-31 million mt/yr. The July output of 2.40 million mt set a new low for 2010, and was a result of cuts in output at selected alumina producers in Henan and Guangxi provinces due to production disruptions. Meanwhile, recent declines in imports of alumina were also a factor behind higher alumina prices in August.
According to CNIA, China's aluminum output was 1.42 million mt during July, down 0.51% MoM, and with an annualized capacity of 16.69 million mt/yr, down 645 kt/yr, or 3.72%, on a monthly basis, and in line with SMM's previous forecast that China's aluminum producers would report a drop in capacity of 500-800 kt/yr.
CNIA announced on August 25th that China's output of aluminum semis in July was 1.66 million mt, down 5.84% MoM, and with an annualized capacity of 19.52 million mt/yr, down 1.9 million mt/yr, or 8.88%, on a monthly basis. The declines in aluminum semis output in July were unexpected. According to a SMM survey of downstream producers in July, operating rates at aluminum semis producers during July were generally unchanged from June, with some sectors even reporting slight growth. SMM data shows total aluminum stocks in Shanghai, Wuxi, Hangzhou, and Nanhai have all fallen since June, an indication that domestic aluminum consumption remains strong. In addition, according to preliminary data from an August SMM survey of downstream producers, operating rates at aluminum semis producers were down slightly from July levels, so SMM believes China's output of aluminum semis will be lower in August.
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