Global Aluminum Production Hits 5.43 Million Metric Tons in May

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According to the International Aluminum Institute, global aluminum production in May reached 5.43 million metric tons, holding flat from May 2018 production.

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By region, China led the way with 3.09 million metric tons produced, about flat compared with May 2018 production.

Elsewhere, Asian production ex-China reached 374,000 metric tons. Production in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries reached 464,000 metric tons.

In North America, production reached 326,000 tons, while South American production hit 86,000 metric tons.

Production in western Europe reached 293,000 metric tons, while production in east and central Europe reached 353,000 metric tons.

Production in Africa totaled 142,000 metric tons, while Oceania’s production reached 163,000 metric tons.

As for prices, LME aluminum has been trending downward since March.

The LME aluminum price reached a 2019 high of $1,922 per ton March 20. In the ensuing three months, however, the price has been sliding, hitting $1,764.50 per ton June 24.

LME aluminum price in 2019. Source: LME

U.S., Canada Aluminum Demand and Production

According to the Aluminum Association’s monthly Aluminum Situation report, aluminum demand in the U.S. and Canada increased an estimated 0.4% over the first four months of the year.

Demand reached an estimated 9,547 million pounds for the year through April, according to the Aluminum Association.

Demand for semi-fabricated products reached 6,914 million pounds, marking a 2.6% increase, while apparent consumption in domestic markets reached an estimated 8,505 million pounds, marking a 1.8% increase on a year-over-year basis.

In terms of production, the Aluminum Association reported primary production in the U.S. and Canada reached an annual rate of 4.01 million tons in May, marking a 0.4% decline from the April rate.

Scrap Recovery Drops 6.4% in Q1

In other aluminum news, U.S. recovery of aluminum and aluminum alloys (i.e., scrap) fell 6.4% in Q1 2019 compared with Q1 2018.

The Aluminum Situation report cites data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which said the U.S. aluminum industry purchased 1,882 million pounds of aluminum scrap in Q1 2019.

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On the other hands, scrap exports during Q1 2019 increased 22.6% on a year-over-year basis, reaching 1,033 million pounds.

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