LONDON (Reuters) – Global aluminium production fell by 0.5% in the first half of this year, according to the International Aluminium Institute (IAI).
That doesn’t sound very exciting but global output hasn’t registered a year-on-year decline since the Global Financial Crisis in 2009.
Lower Western output has been largely down to temporary outages at two key smelters, Albras in Brazil and Becancour in Canada. Both are in the process of restarting capacity, although another European smelter has just succumbed to the low-price environment.
More significant in terms of underlying market dynamics is the loss of growth momentum in China, which dominates global aluminium production.
Chinese output fell by 3.1% in June and by 0.4% over the first six months of the year, according to the IAI.