The second post-holiday aluminium inventory for eight consumption areas in the People’s Republic of China was reported yesterday, and the numbers reflected a drop-off from levels reported the week prior.
According to inventory numbers released by Shanghai Metals Market, combined inventories across eight of China’s main consumption areas totaled 1.299 million metric tons. That total, which includes SHFE warrants, is down by 3 thousand metric tons from last Wednesday’s total.
From Wednesday to Monday, aluminium inventory fell by 14 thousand metric tons to 302 thousand metric tons. Aluminium on hand at Wuxi, Jiangsu totaled 516 thousand metric tons, down from 523 thousand metric tons last week. Inventory at Nanhai, Guangdong totaled 161 thousand metric tons, an increase over last week’s total of 147 thousand metric tons. Gongyi, Henan saw a slight rise in inventory, from last week’s total of 109 thousand metric tons to yesterday’s cache of 115 thousand metric tons.
Aluminium stores in Hangzhou, Zhejiang remained level at 106 thousand metric tons, while stocks in Tianjin dropped slightly, losing 3 thousand metric tons from last week’s total of 55 thousand metric tons. Linyi, Shandong’s aluminium on hand rose by 1 thousand metric tons to 25 thousand metric tons, while Chongqing held stores steady at 22 thousand metric tons.
Overall, production continues to be somewhat constricted due to marginal cuts mandated by local authorities in China’s northern regions during the winter heating season, though experts both within and outside of the Middle Kingdom continue to argue over the true extent of cuts actually made.
In addition to production cuts, tepid domestic demand and trade tensions abroad continue to complicate China’s aluminium sales. Few expect relief from overseas tensions in the near term, noting the Trump administration’s continued reticence to rescind tariffs and other penalties enacted over the course of the previous calendar year.