Recent figures from the Shanghai Metals Market (SMM) show a slight rebound in China’s aluminium market. The country posted production figures of 5.65 million tonnes of alumina in April, which correspond to daily output of 179,800 tonnes, a 2.62% increase month-on-month.
Total metallurgical-grade alumina production for the first four months of 2020 clocked in at 21.56 million tonnes, or 8.61% lower than the same period in 2019.
SMM forecasts a slight decrease in May, with daily output of around 178,000 tonnes (or 5.53 million for the month) due to expected output cuts at refineries in North China such as Chinalco Shanxi, reliant on imports of bauxite.
Aluminium production, meanwhile, increased 2.4% year-on-year, reaching 2.96 million tonnes in April. Unsurprisingly, year-on-year production in 2020 so far has grown by 3.6% to 11.93 million tonnes, despite a 5.5% slump in consumption, to 10.7 million tonnes.
SMM sees May numbers coming in at 3.07 million tonnes, a 0.1% increase, as smelters restart operations from maintenance or production cuts.
On the demand side, LME aluminium prices in April closed 2% lower on the month, while SHFE aluminium gained 12.7%. Traders expect weak demand for Chinese exports to a weakening of the SHFE price.