Several metals prices have been on the rise this year, powered in part by China’s demand recovery (among other factors, including a weakening dollar). Copper, in particular, has been a fast riser this year.
Aluminum, however, has not been as strong.
Over the last month, the LME three-month aluminum price has gained 4.62%, according to MetalMiner data.
However, since the start of the year, the price is actually down 2.8%.
Rising production levels won’t necessarily help support the aluminum price.
Stop obsessing about the actual forecasted aluminum price. It’s more important to spot the trend. See why.
Global output rises in July
According to the International Aluminum Institute, global aluminum production in July totaled 5.45 million metric tons.
The July total marked a 2.8% increase from the 5.30 million metric tons produced in June. Production totaled 5.41 million metric tons in July 2019.
Estimated Chinese production reached 3.13 million metric tons, up 3.3% from the 3.03 million metric tons produced in June. Production in July 2019 totaled 3.06 million metric tons.
Meanwhile, production in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries reached 488,000 metric tons in July. The July total marked a 3.0% increase from the previous month.
Production in east and central Europe totaled 349,000 metric tons, up 2.6% from the previous month.
North American production reached 333,000 metric tons in July, up slightly from the 330,000 tons the previous month.
Asian production ex-China reached 343,000 metric tons in July, up from 337,000 tons the previous month.
Aluminum tariff goes into effect
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump announced the reimposition of the 10% Section 232 aluminum tariff on some Canadian aluminum.
Citing a rise in imports from Canada, the Section 232 tariff targeted Canadian non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum.
The reimposed tariff went into effect Aug. 16, despite criticism from domestic industry groups, including the Aluminum Association.
Trump initially levied the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum in March 2018. After an initial exemption, the tariffs were eventually applied to imports of the metals from Canada.
However, in May 2019, the tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum were rescinded as part of ongoing talks over the successor to NAFTA (the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which went into effect July 1, 2020).
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