With the fallout of sanctions and tariffs as a backdrop, numbers just released by the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) showed an appreciable decline in the global aluminium smelting total from last month, with a global total down from both the prior month and the previous year.
Per the IAI’s numbers, global aluminium output totaled 5.32 million metric tons, which was down by 2.2 percent from May’s total of 5.44 million metric tons. The global smelting total was also down by 2.9 percent from last June’s total.
Though the all-in total last month was down, the world’s daily average rose by 1.1 percent from last month to 177,400 metric tons, boosting the average to its highest level in a year.
The global first-half total was down as well, coming in at 31.75 million metric tons, a drop of 1 percent from the same period in 2017.
World-leading producer the People’s Republic of China experienced modest declines last month, turning in a June total lower by 1.9 percent from May and by 6.2 percent from last year. Across the first six months of the year the Middle Kingdom smelted 17.9 million metric tons, which was off by 3.3 percent from last year’s opening half.
Outside of China, production in Asia totaled 368 thousand metric tons, which was off by 1.1 percent from May but up by 18 percent from last June. Totals in the Middle East came to 444 thousand metric tons, a drop of 3.1 percent from the previous month but 4.2 percent better than last year.
Aluminium production suffered the most in North America and Europe. European smelters produced 642 thousand metric tons in the month, which was down from May’s total by 2.7 percent, while North American smelters combined to produce 303 thousand metric tons in June, down by 5.6 percent.