SHANGHAI, Jan 12 (SMM) - Aluminium ingots: The aluminium ingot social inventories across China’s eight major markets stood at 642,000 mt as of January 12, up 66,000 mt from a week ago and 149,000 mt from the end of December. The figure was 83,000 mt less than the same period last year, though. Th inventories were still in a seasonal accumulation cycle, mostly contributed by Wuxi, Foshan, and Gongyi. Inventories in the three regions added 55,000 mt on a weekly basis. It is expected that the total inventories will grow further next week as more cargoes will arrive. Downstream consumption in Gongyi was muted as the CNY holiday is around the corner, keeping the spot discounts at highs. Transactions in east and south China were relatively brisk as optimism over the post-holiday market outlook drove traders to stock up, even though some downstream producers were already shut down for the CNY holiday. On the whole, trading activities in the spot market will dwindle with more downstream producers taking the CNY holiday in advance. The magnitude of inventory accumulation during the holiday deserves close attention.
Aluminium billet: The domestic aluminium billet social inventory extended the increase this week and stood at 95,000 mt as of January 12, up 15,100 mt from week ago. Except for Changzhou, all the other regions saw inventory accumulation. The inventory in Foshan added 10,900 mt to 45,400 mt, driven by high shipments from south-west China and rapidly cooling demand after downstream producers took an early CNY break. The inventories in east China maintained a seasonal upward trend, and lower prices barely attracted buyers. Aluminium billet output cuts are expected to expand in January. Most of the small and medium-sized aluminium extruders were shut down before January 10 for the CNY holiday, leaving only a small number of large extruders still in operation to digest their orders. The inventories in east and south China are both expected to climb further. And the inventories of billet plants and downstream enterprises will also gradually pile up.