Numbers just released from Beijing Antaike Information Co., Ltd (Antaike) show demand for refined aluminium in the People’s Republic of China jump by almost ten percent over the course of the first half of this year.
According to the state-owned metals information service, the 9.6% year-on-year rise in demand is due to improvements in the real estate, power generation, and automotive sectors. Overall, the country’s economy sought 17.5 million metric tons of primary aluminium in the first half of 2017.
Demand in the real estate and power sectors grew despite overall slowdowns in both realms, explained Antaike. Automotive and aluminium-alloy wheel markets grew output in the first half, as did home appliance manufacturing, with rises posted in production of appliances including refrigerators, air conditioners, and washing machines.
Antaike reported the Middle Kingdom’s aluminium supply in the first half at 18.59 million metric tons, a year-on-year increase of 19.8%. National output in the half totaled 18.55 million metric tons, an increase of 19.7% year-on-year. Imports nearly doubled over last year, as Antaike reported a total of 41 thousand metric tons of aluminium shipped to China’s shores in the year’s first six months.
Overall China reported a 1.1 million metric ton aluminium surplus in the first half of 2017, a reversal from 2016’s first-half deficit of 440 thousand metric tons.
Capacity grew in the first half, largely due to a recovery in aluminium prices. Antaike reported a resumption of 600 thousand metric tons per annum of resumed capacity in the first half of the year. A further 700 thousand metric tons per annum of shuttered capacity is expected to come online in the near future as well. At present, Antaike estimates China’s overall operating capacity to total 38 million metric tons per annum as of the end of June, which is a 4 percent increase year-on-year.
Going forward, Antaike forecasts the country’s aluminum demand to reach 35.8 million metric tons by year’s end, which would be a 9.1% improvement over last year. Refined aluminium production is expected to outpace demand, as the country’s output for 2017 is predicted to rise by 12% to 36.6 million metric tons.