China aluminium producers set to cut another 800,000 T of capacity

Madiha Shakeel December 21, 2018

BEIJING: China’s aluminium producers are set to cut at least another 800,000 tonnes per year of smelting capacity, said analysts from Antaike, the research arm of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, without giving a timeframe.

Chinese smelters have so far closed more than 3.2 million tonnes of capacity in 2018, about 80 percent of that in the second-half of the year amid a slump in aluminium prices, the Antaike analysts said in a note posted on the social media platform Wechat on Friday.

The analysts were attending a key smelter meeting in the southern region of Guangxi, which was called by the metals association.

Aluminium prices in China, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of the metal, closed up 0.7 percent at 13,750 yuan ($1,993.59) on Friday, having hit a more than two-year low earlier this month.

It was not immediately clear whether the 800,000-tonne figure was Antaike’s own estimate or if the research house was citing the other participants at the meeting.

These included top smelters China Hongqiao Group, Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, Xinfa Group, Hangzhou Jinjiang Group <IPO-HZJJ.HK> and East Hope, Antaike said.

According to Antaike, participants said that the operating pressure on smelters was “reaching the extreme limit” and had surpassed even the worst levels seen in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Three years ago, with prices slumping to around 10,000 yuan a tonne, Chinese smelters gathered for a similar meeting and decided to cut 500,000 tonnes of production by the end of that year.

Copyright Reuters, 2018

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