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Global demand for primary aluminum grew by 5.8 percent in 2017, and is expected to grow by around 4-6 percent in 2018 Norske Hydro said in it's earnings report. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, global demand rose 5.6 percent.

Aluminum Uses LME

Aluminum Main Uses via LME

Global primary aluminum consumption fell by 0.2 percent to 16.1 million mt in the fourth quarter compared to the third, mainly due to seasonality. Outside China, demand seasonally fell by 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter, while the year-on-year increase from the fourth quarter of 2016 was 4.1 percent.

Consumption outside China amounted to 7.3 million mt for the fourth quarter of 2017. Demand for primary aluminum outside China grew by around 3.4 percent in 2017, and is expected to grow by 3-4 percent in 2018. 

Compared to the third quarter of 2017, Chinese aluminium consumption increased by 0.8 percent to 8.9 million mt. The year-on-year increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2016 was 6.9 percent.

Demand is expected to increase by 4-6 percent in 2018 compared to a growth of 8 percent in 2017. The global primary aluminium market is expected to be largely balanced in 2018. European demand for extrusion ingot increased in the fourth quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. Demand for sheet ingot and primary foundry alloys also continued increasing, mainly due to the positive developments in the automotive industry.

Global Stocks

Total global stocks at the end of the fourth quarter were estimated to be 12.5 million mt, at the same level as at end of the third quarter as well as at the fourth quarter of 2016. LME stocks have declined further, amounting to 1.1 million mt at the end of the fourth quarter, down 0.2 million mt from the end of the third quarter.]

Chinese reported stocks have increased 0.1 million mt since the third quarter, and 1.3 million mt since the fourth quarter of 2016. Estimated unreported global stocks were stable compared to the third quarter of 2017 but have decreased 0.2 million mt compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.

Source: Norske Hydro

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