SHANGHAI, Sep 10 (SMM) – China's output of alumina stood at 5.82 million mt in August, with metallurgical-grade alumina accounting for 5.57 million mt, showed SMM data on Tuesday September 10.
Daily average production of metallurgical-grade alumina shrank about 4,000 mt from July and came in at 180,000 mt, pressured by lower output at Xing’an Chemicals, Henan Huiyuan, Henan Zhongmei, Bosai Group’s Shuijiang project, Shanxi Zhaofeng, East Hope’s Lingshi refinery, and SPIC Shanxi New Energy. Falling alumina prices and bauxite supply tightness caused the output cuts at those producers.
Output of alumina is expected to reach 5.8 million mt in September, which includes 5.56 million mt of metallurgical-grade alumina. Daily average output of metallurgical-grade alumina will be lifted to 185,000 mt, on the expected resumption of Xinfa's Jiaokou refinery and the end of maintenance at Xing’an Chemicals. Some other refineries are also likely to raise output after previous cutbacks as bauxite shortage eases. As of September 10, capacity of metallurgical-grade alumina in operation has improved to 67.76 million mt.
Domestic production of primary aluminium decreased by 3.48% from a year ago and by 1.96% from a month ago to stand at 3.01 million mt in August, as accidents in some smelters in Shandong and Xinjiang deterred production.
This brought output in the first eight months of this year to 23.57 million mt, with a year-over-year decline of 1.89%.
Commissioning of new or recovered capacity remained slow. As of the end of August, primary aluminium capacity in operation slipped to 34.9 million mt, with suspended and idling capacity standing at 5.8 million mt. Operating rates across domestic primary aluminium smelters averaged 85.8% by the end of August, down 4.7 percentage points from a month earlier.
For September, China’s primary aluminium output is expected at 2.92 million mt, down 2.76% year on year, but capacity in operation may expand at the end of September on capacity additions and resumption.
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