Sat, 02 Dec 2023

China forces global aluminum output to record high in August

Robert Besser
29 Sep 2023, 14:56 GMT+10

LONDON, UK: In August, global production of primary aluminum hit an all-time high, with production running at an annualized rate of 71.2 million metric tons.

This was the second consecutive month that run-rates hit the 70-million metric ton mark, and before July, this level was only once surpassed in August 2022.

In its latest monthly update, the UK-based International Aluminum Institute (IAI) significantly revised its primary production numbers, raising previous output estimates in China and the rest of the world.

Due to improved power supply in previously drought-affected parts of the country's hydroelectric system, China, the world's largest aluminum producer, is experiencing a production surge.

However, it is still being determined whether Chinese demand can absorb the new wave of production.

Non-Chinese aluminum production has also been running higher than previously assumed.

Raising its forecasts from the start of last year, the IAI has added around 577,000 metric tons of annualized output to its "unreported" category.

Most of the increase is due to previously uncounted production in Malaysia and Iran, which do not report output numbers directly to the IAI.

Figures for China's production through the year's first half have also been revised significantly higher.

The IAI previously estimated that Chinese production fell by an annualized 118,000 metric tons in the first seven months of 2023, but it now estimates the country's national output to have risen by 1.3 million metric tons.

In August, global production totaled 6.0 million metric tons, 1.6 percent more than in the same month last year, while cumulative production of 46.5 million metric tons was up 1.7 percent on the year-ago period.

In January-August, China registered growth of 2.5 percent, while the rest of the world lagged with a more modest growth of 0.5 percent.

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