SHANGHAI, Mar. 21 (SMM) – China’s aluminium product exports are expected to climb in 2014 as semis producers are gaining a cost advantage from more depressed domestic prices of the metal, Shanghai Metals Market said at its 9th Copper & Aluminium Summit.
Chinese exports of aluminium plates and strips may rise by 9.5% year-on-year to 1.7 million tonnes for the whole year, SMM’s aluminium analyst Wang Chunhui said at the conference in Shanghai today. Exports of aluminium foils may jump by 19.2% to 900,000 tonnes while those of the metal extrusions may increase by 14.4% to 700,000 tonnes, he said.
``With the SHFE/LME aluminium price ratio trending down, China-made semis products are quite competitive in the international market,’’ Wang said and showed the following price ratio slide to the conference delegates.
``Nearly all semis producers have been suffering from a cash crunch which has long become the norm in the business,’’ Wang said, adding he expected to see the market to start reshuffling this year, leaving only the fittest to survive.
For instance, Aluminium Corporation of China Ltd. (Chalco) closed down a 120,000-tpy cold strip mill and a 100,000-tpy hot mill in Henan province earlier this year, he added.
Wang said he expected China’s production capacity for making primary aluminium to increase by 12.6% year-on-year to 34.1 million tpy in 2014 and actual output to rise by 13.4% from a year ago to 28.3 million tonnes.