Nov 16,(Bloomberg)--Aluminum demand in China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal, may double in the next decade, said United Co. Rusal, the world’s biggest producer.
“Deliveries to Asia are going up, especially given that China became a net importer of aluminum in September,” Oleg Mukhamedshin, Rusal’s head of capital markets, said at an investment conference in Hong Kong today. “Rusal can deliver more aluminum to the biggest consumer market,” he said.
China became a net importer of aluminum from September after local production was disrupted on power rationing, pushing up global prices. Global aluminum demand has risen by 25 percent this year from 2009, Rusal said last week in its earnings report.
China’s “market will continue to grow and observers expect Chinese demand to double in the next ten years,” Mukhamedshin said. China uses about 10 kilograms of the metal per capita a year, which is much lower than western countries, he said.
Aluminum on the London Metal Exchange has gained 13 percent since the beginning of September, trading at $2,390 a metric ton at 10.34 a.m. Shanghai time.
China imported 7,740 metric tons of primary aluminum in September, compared with 6,133 tons of exports in the same period, customs data showed.
China’s aluminum production capacity could fall by as much as 2 million metric tons because of energy cuts, according to Mukhamedshin. The capacity reduction in China is having a significant impact on the aluminum market, he said.
Henan province, the largest aluminum producing region, may suspend around 1 million tons of production capacity in the fourth quarter in an effort to meet Beijing’s energy-saving targets, Zhang Fengkui, head of the nonferrous metals office at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at a conference in Zhengzhou on Oct. 26.