Estimates show the People’s Republic of China adding another 3 million metric tons to its aluminium smelting capacity in 2021, housing half of it in Yunnan Province, the quickly-growing hotspot for new capacity.
China Nonferrous Metals Industry’s statistical subsidiary Antaike said earlier this week that the province of Yunnan would see another 1.88 million metric tons of new aluminium capacity, with the southwestern province having already seen another 1.63 million metric tons come online this year.
The remaining capacity next year is expected to be split up among Inner Mongolia (550 thousand metric tons), Guangxi (370 thousand metric tons), Guizhou (100 thousand metric tons), and Shanxi (100 thousand metric tons).
After factoring in permanent capacity closures, China will be home to 43 million metric tons of aluminium-smelting capacity, explained Wang Hongfei while speaking at the China International Aluminum Week conference in Chongqing.
“We expect traditional demand will gradually recover and new infrastructure will bring new consumption,” Wang opined, adding that artificial trade barriers still made the rest of the world’s market a difficult place.
By the numbers, demand for aluminium is projected to increase by 1.7 percent next year. This year’s domestic aluminium demand increased by 1.6 percent over the prior year. Net imports of aluminium for the next year is expected to drop sharply, from an estimated net of 820 thousand metric tons this year to 200 million in 2021.
For alumina, the department predicted a rise in demand in 2021 from 74.53 million metric tons this year to 76.9 million metric tons. Production is expected to rise accordingly, from 70.49 million metric tons this year to 72.9 million metric tons in 2021. Also rising will be alumina imports, Antaike predicted, from an estimated 3.5 million metric tons by year’s end this year to 4 million metric tons next year.