SHANGHAI, Jul. 3 (SMM) –
According to the China Nonferrous Metals Association (CNIA), China’s alumina output hit 3.72 million mt during May. YTD output through May totaled 17.56 million mt, up 10.87% YoY. Aluminum output during May reached 1.77 million mt, and was 8.735 million mt from January to May, up 8.25% YoY. Although alumina output grew faster than aluminum output, YoY growth in both alumina and aluminum output slowed.
According to the CNIA, China produced 1.766 million mt of aluminum during May, up 5.21% YoY. YTD output through May hit 8.735 million mt, also up 11.91% YoY. Total aluminum capacity in operation during May was 20.79 million mt/yr when measured on an annualized basis, flat with April’s level. The 5.21% YoY growth in May was actually slower than previous months due largely to less new capacity commissioned and production cuts at some smelters amid depressed aluminum prices.
Data from the CNIA show aluminum semis output in China during May hit 3.286 million mt, a surge of 32.05% YoY. Total output from January to May also grew 34.66% YoY to 14.64 million mt. Robust demand from the construction, transportation and packaging sectors boosted demand for aluminum semis, allowing aluminum processors to increase operating rates. The average operating rate at aluminum extrusion producers was 72%, and was 66% at aluminum plate/sheet, strip and foil producers, both up from the previous month.