SHANGHAI, Mar 16 (SMM) – Operating rates at secondary aluminium producers stood at 41.35% in February, down 20.8 percentage points month on month, but up 23.23 percentage points year on year.
Except for a few large factories that did not stop production during CNY, most companies took a 6-20 day break for CNY and undertook maintenance before and after the holiday, causing output to fall by one third or half. Aluminium prices soared after the holiday, and secondary aluminium prices followed suit, hurting downstream purchases. Aluminium scrap recyclers generally resumed work in early March and held back cargoes amid soaring aluminium prices. This kept raw material supply tight for secondary aluminium producers, but their production was little affected. With the production resumption of aluminium scrap recyclers and recovery of downstream demand, operating rates are expected to return to pre-holiday level in March.