SHANGHAI, Oct 16 (SMM) – Chinese secondary aluminium producers continued to ramp up operation in September, driven by frontloading in the north ahead of environmental curbs for the National Day holiday in early October.
An SMM survey showed that operating rates across secondary aluminium producers in China rose to 60.69% in September. This was up 2.44 percentage points from August and 4.23 percentage points from September 2018.
Secondary aluminium plants in northern Chinese provinces, such as Hebei, Shandong, and Henan, moved up a gear to fulfil orders in advance as they were required to close for up to 10 days around the National Day.
A rebound in downstream demand also helped drive the operating rates amid overall low inventories of raw materials and finished products at secondary aluminium producers.
Orders at secondary aluminium producers in Chongqing recovered significantly in September as downstream die casting mills restocked after returned from August’s summer break.
Greater year-over-year volumes of aluminium scrap were allowed to enter China in the third quarter, and this guaranteed full operation at domestic producers that use imported scrap as feedstock.
SMM expects stable orders to keep operating rates flat across Chinese secondary aluminium plants in October.