According to SMM statistics, China's aluminium output was 3.562 million mt in January (31 days), up 4.2% YoY. The domestic daily average aluminium output were flat MoM at 114,900 mt. In January, the operating rate of domestic aluminium primary processing enterprises declined slightly. The output of aluminium billets and other products in the northwest, southwest and other regions decreased. The share of aluminium liquid output fell by 3.7 percentage points MoM and 11.2 percentage points YoY to about 70.36%. According to SMM aluminium liquid ratio data, the domestic aluminium ingot volume in January decreased by 24% YoY to 1.06 million mt. The main domestic aluminium ingot production areas were Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, and Yunnan, totalling around 590,000 mt, accounting for 55.7% of total.
Changes in production capacity: In January, domestic aluminium smelters maintained steady operations, without large-scale production suspensions or resumptions. The existing aluminium capacity was about 45.19 million mt, the operating capacity was around 41.98 million mt, and the operating rate grew by 3.9 percentage points YoY to 92.9%.
Output forecast: In February 2024, domestic aluminium companies will mostly maintain steady operations. The supply of wind power, photovoltaic and thermal power in Yunnan rose YoY during the dry season, but local aluminium companies have not yet received notice to resume production. SMM predicts that most enterprises in the province will maintain stable operations from February to March. There are no further changes expected on the production capacity. SMM predicts domestic aluminium operating capacity may stabilize at around 42 million mt in February. The average daily domestic aluminium production may remain stable. The total domestic aluminium production in February (29 days) is expected to be around 3.33 million mt, up 7.9% YoY. As CNY is drawing near, the operating rate of downstream enterprises dropped, and the amount of aluminium ingot produced increased. The proportion of aluminium liquid in February may drop to around 66%, up 5 percentage points YoY.