SHANGHAI, Jun. 28 (SMM) - Data from the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA) show China’s alumina output from January to May grew faster than aluminum output. China produced 3.72 million mt of alumina in May, and 17.56 million mt during January-May, up 10.87% YoY. Aluminum output in May totaled 1.77 million mt, and 8.735 million mt during the first five months of this year, up 8.25% YoY.
SMM believes two reasons can explain why growth in alumina output outpaced that of aluminum output. First, new alumina capacity was commissioning at a fasters pace than aluminum capacity. The coming online of alumina capacity at Guangxi Tiandong Jinxin Chemcial, Yunnan Aluminum Wenshan Alumina and Guangxi Xinfa Alumina pushed up alumina output across China. Second, some aluminum smelters were forced to close for maintenance against high production costs and falling aluminum prices, pushing aluminum output down.
It’s worth noting that year-on-year growth of both alumina and aluminum output slowed. Alumina output grew 16.5% YoY during January-February, but grew only 7.7% YoY in May. Similarly, YoY growth of aluminum output slowed from 15.8% during the first two months of this year to 5.2% in May.