SHANGHAI, Dec 24 (SMM) – Slow expansion of domestic aluminium capacity led to a glut of prebaked anode, as raw materials. This, together with higher overseas prices of prebaked anode, buoyed exports of the materials on a yearly basis in 2018.
China exported some 128,000 mt of prebaked anode in October, up 53.9% from a year ago. This increased exports in January-October by 23.1% year on year, to 1.03 million mt, showed data by China Customs.
Growth of domestic aluminium capacity slowed to below 5% in recent three years, with a negative increase of -2% in 2017. However, capacity of prebaked anode maintained a growth rate of around 5%.
In 2018, capacity of prebaked anode expanded by some 1.4 million mt after greater winter cuts in 2017 slashed the capacity and grew worries in the market. Smaller impact of 2018/2019 winter cuts on prebaked anode plants also accounted for expanded capacity this year.
Export prices of prebaked anode, up to 1.2 times of domestic prices in 2018, also pushed exporters to move cargoes into international markets, SMM learned.