BEIJING, Jan 21 — China’s primary aluminium output defied low prices to rise for a second straight month to a record high in December as falling alumina costs boosted margins, while 2018 annual output was also a record, official data showed today.
The world’s top producer churned out more than 3 million tonnes in a month for the first time, undeterred by aluminium prices at two-year lows, the impact of the US-China trade war and Beijing’s environmental crackdown.
Production was likely spurred by new smelter openings late last year and higher utilisation rates following a plunge in the cost of raw material alumina, said Helen Lau, an analyst at Argonaut Securities.
Output hit 3.05 million tonnes in December, National Bureau of Statistics data showed, up 8.2 per cent from November and up 11.3 per cent from December 2017.
On a daily basis, China produced almost 98,400 tonnes of aluminium last month, up from 94,000 tonnes in November and also a record high, according to Reuters calculations. December had one more day than November.
Full-year output came in at 35.8 million tonnes in 2018, up 7.4 per cent from the previous annual record in 2017. — Reuters
Source: The Malay Mail Online