World Bureau of Metal Statistics announced that the calculated market balance for primary aluminium for the period of January to October 2020 was a surplus of 1709 kt which follows a surplus of 479 kt recorded for the whole of 2019. Demand for primary aluminium for January to October 2020 was 53.77 million tonnes, 599 kt more than in the comparable period in 2019. Demand is measured on an apparent basis and it is likely that the full effects of national lockdowns have not been fully reflected in the trade statistics. Production in January to October 2020 rose by 3.9 per cent. Total reported stocks rose slightly in October to close at the end of the period 70 kt above the December 2019 level. Shanghai stocks rose steadily in the early months, fell in the second quarter and rose slightly in October to close at the end of October at 233 kt. This compares with 185.1 at the end of December 2019. LME stocks were 1461 kt which compares with 1473 kt at the end of 2019. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for large unreported stock changes especially those held in Asia.
Overall, global production rose in January to October 2020 by 3.9 per cent compared with the first ten months of 2019. Chinese output was estimated at 30,628 kt based on higher availability of imported bauxite and alumina, and this currently accounts for about 55 per cent of the world production total. Chinese apparent demand was 10.9 per cent higher than in January to October 2019 and the output of semi-manufactures rose by 8.6 per cent. China became a net importer of unwrought aluminium in 2020. During January to October 2020 Chinese net exports of aluminium semi manufactures were 3513 kt which compares with 4032 kt for January to October 2019. Exports of semi manufactures fell by 11 per cent compared with the January to October 2019 total.
Production for January to October in the EU28 was 2.1 per cent lower than the previous year and NAFTA output increased by 4.1 per cent. EU28 demand was 1174 kt lower than the comparable 2019 total. Global demand rose by 1.1 per cent during January to October 2020 compared with the levels recorded one year previously.
In October primary aluminium production was 5620.7 kt and demand was 5483.4 kt.