Primary Aluminum Market Deficit Contracted in 2018

Author:Suny Group

The preliminary data for the calendar year 2018 published by the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS) indicates that global primary aluminum market ended in deficit during the year. However, the market deficit narrowed sharply when compared to 2017. The calculated deficit stood at 859 kt, as compared with the deficit of 1,209 kt recorded during the whole year 2017.

The overall global production of the metal rose marginally by 1.8% during the entire year 2018, as compared with 2017. The production in 2018 was up by 1,036 kt when compared with 2017. The output by China totaled 33.586 million tonnes, which accounted for approximately 58% of the world production total in 2018. The EU region reported minor decline in production by 0.5% over the previous year. Meantime, the yearly output by the NAFTA region witnessed year-on-year decline by 3.4%.

The total reported stocks of aluminum were 2,404 kt as at the end of December 2018. This compared with 2,346 kt at the end of 2017. The LME stocks rose marginally by 225 kt in Dec ’18. The Malaysian stocks surged higher by 185 kt. The stocks elsewhere in Asia too edged higher. The combined stocks held by four main exchanges-London, Shanghai, USA and Tokyo registered marginal increase by 9 kt from Dec ’17 closing level to total 1,951 kt at the end of 2018.