Review and Prospect of global alumina production in 2020


Review and Prospect of global alumina production in 2020

Basic information:

The alumina market has a price controlled trend in 2020, and the production and consumption of alumina have maintained a considerable balance. In the first few months of 2021, due to the reduction of purchase interest of aluminum smelters, alumina prices showed a sharp downward trend, but later rebounded with the market rebound.

From January to October 2020, the global alumina output was 110.466 million tons, a slight increase of 0.55% over 109.866 million tons in the same period last year. The output of metallurgical grade alumina is 104.068 million tons.

In the first 10 months, China’s alumina production decreased by 2.78% year-on-year to 50.032 million tons. With the exception of China, production increased in Africa and Asia (excluding China), Eastern and central Europe and South America. In Africa and Asia (except China), the output of alumina was 10.251 million tons, an increase of 19.63% over 8.569 million tons in the same period last year. The output of eastern and central Europe was 3.779 million tons, an increase of 2.91% over last year’s 3.672 million tons; The output of South America was 9.664 million tons, 10.62% higher than 8.736 million tons last year. Oceania is the second largest alumina producer after China. From January to October 2020, the output of alumina in this region was 17.516 million tons, compared with 16.97 million tons last year.

Supply and demand :

Alcoa produced 3.435 million tons of alumina in the third quarter of 2020 (as of September 30), an increase of 1.9% over 3.371 million tons in the same period last year. Third party shipments in the third quarter also increased to 2.549 million tons from 2.415 million tons in the second quarter. The company expects that due to the improvement of production level, its alumina shipment prospect in 2020 will increase by 200000 tons to 13.8 – 13.9 million tons.

In July 2020, UAE global aluminum achieved a nameplate capacity of 2 million tons of alumina within 14 months after its al taweelah alumina refinery was put into operation. This capacity is sufficient to meet 40% of EGA’s alumina demand and replace some imported products.

In its third quarter performance report, hydro said that its alunorte alumina refinery was increasing production to the specified capacity. On August 18, hydro stopped the operation of the pipeline transporting bauxite from paragominas to alunorte in order to repair in advance, replace some pipelines, temporarily stop the production of paragominas and reduce the output of alunorte to 50% of the total capacity. On October 8, paragominas resumed production, and alunorte began to increase production to 6.3 million tons of nameplate capacity.

Rio Tinto’s alumina production is expected to increase from 7.7 million tons in 2019 to 7.8 to 8.2 million tons in 2020. The company invested US $51 million to upgrade the equipment of its Vaudreuil alumina refinery in Quebec, Canada. It is reported that three new energy-saving buildings are under construction.

On the other hand, the government of Andhra Pradesh, India allows anrak Aluminum Co., Ltd. to entrust its rachapalli alumina refinery located in Visakhapatnam makavarapalem.

Joyce Li, senior analyst of SMM, commented that by 2020, there may be a supply gap of 361000 tons in China’s alumina market, and the average annual operating rate of aluminum oxide plant is 78.03%. As of early December, 68.65 million tons of alumina production capacity was in operation among the existing production capacity of 88.4 million tons per year.

Focus of trade:

According to the data released by the Brazilian Ministry of economy in July, Brazil’s alumina exports increased in June, although the growth rate slowed compared with the previous month. As of May 2020, Brazil’s alumina exports have increased by at least 30% month on month.

From January to October 2020, China imported 3.15 million tons of alumina, a year-on-year increase of 205.15%. It is estimated that by the end of 2020, China’s alumina import is expected to stabilize at 3.93 million tons.

Short term prospects:

Joyce Li, senior analyst at SMM, predicts that 2021 will be the peak of China’s alumina production capacity, while overseas oversupply will intensify and the pressure will increase.

Post time: Oct-12-2021