SHANGHAI, May 10 (SMM)—China’s primary aluminium output rose 9.87% year on year to 3.25 million mt in April (30 production days), showed an SMM survey. For the first four months of 2021, primary aluminium output totalled 12.94 million mt, rising 8.6% from the same period last year. Baikuang Debao and Tianlin continued to release output in April, and the average daily output in Inner Mongolia rose slightly by 400 mt from March. As of early May, there was 39.71 million mt among 43.5 million mt per year of existing primary aluminium capacity in operation, while operating rates across Chinese primary aluminium producers stood at 91.3%. The proportion of aluminum water came in at 67.3%, up 4.1 percentage points month on month.
Domestic primary aluminium operating capacity is expected to rise steadily in May. Gansu Zhongrui and Shanxian Hengkang plan to restart production partly in later May, which is expected to bring monthly output to 3.37 million mt and annual operating capacity to 39.68 million mt. Imports of primary aluminium is likely to stand at 80,000 mt in May, and the number of days of social inventories is expected to fall to 9 amid strong demand.
China’s alumina output stood at 6.11 million mt in April. This included 5.9 million mt of metallurgical-grade alumina, with the daily output up 0.45% on the month and 9.4% on the year to 196,800 mt. Metallurgical-grade alumina output totalled 23.22 million mt in the first four months of 2021, up 7.69% on a yearly basis. The impact of environmental inspections on alumina production continued in north China, and a few plants in Henan lowered roasting capacity due to high bauxite prices.
As of early May, the operating capacity of metallurgical-grade alumina stood at 71.6 million mt/year. SMM sees output of metallurgical-grade alumina at 6.14 million mt in May (31 days), with the daily output rising slightly on the month at around 198,000 mt, as newly restarted capacities at Jiaokou Xinfa and GAluminium will contribute some output.