Primary aluminum production rises 2.6% year over year in August

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Aluminum production

Alexander Chudaev/Adobe Stock

Global primary aluminum production reached 5.49 million tons in August, flat compared with the previous month, the International Aluminum Institute reported.

However, aluminum output increased on a year-over-year basis, rising from the 5.35 million tons produced in August 2019.

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Primary aluminum production flat in China from previous month

No. 1 producer China churned out 3.17 million tons of aluminum in August, flat compared with July output.

Meanwhile, Chinese production rose nearly 7% year over year from the 2.97 million tons produced in August 2019.

Elsewhere, production in Asia ex-China totaled 347,000 tons, up from 343,000 tons the previous month.

Production flat in Europe

In addition, European production held flat in August.

Western European aluminum output in August reached 280,000 tons, down from 281,000 tons in July and 286,000 tons in August 2019.

Production in eastern and central Europe held flat month over month at 349,000 tons but fell from the 356,000 tons produced in August 2019.

Elsewhere, production among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries totaled 480,000 tons in August, down from 488,000 tons in July and 494,000 tons in August 2019.

Aluminum prices lose steam

Like other metals, the aluminum price rally has lost some steam.

After falling to around $1,460 per metric ton in the spring, the LME three-month price surged in the ensuing months. The price reached $1,818 per metric ton Sept. 1, its highest since January 2020.

Since then, however, the price has lost some of those gains, dropping to $1,780 per metric ton. On a month over month basis, the LME three-month price fell 0.97%.

Meanwhile, SHFE aluminum currently stands at CNY 14,150 ($2,077) per metric ton.

As MetalMiner’s Maria Rosa Gobitz explained earlier this month, the SHFE price has outpaced its LME counterpart.

“Meanwhile, the SHFE price reached CNY 14,960/mt on Aug. 24,” she wrote. “However, the SHFE aluminum prices continued to move higher than the LME price.

“Throughout the month, SHFE prices were approximately $360/mt to $415/mt higher than the LME price. Some of the arbitrage has occurred due to the weakening of the U.S. dollar, which makes the Chinese price appear higher.”

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