The global aluminium market will be more or less balanced in 2013, with most of the production and demand growth this year to come from China, a senior executive at US producer Alcoa Inc said.
Global demand growth will accelerate by 7% this year, while the rest of the world excluding China will see a slower pace of growth at around 4%, Tim Reyes, president of Alcoa Materials Management, said.
“The primary aluminium market will be essentially balanced in 2013, with a surplus of 535,000 tonnes,” Reyes said.
Chinese output will reach 23.35 million tonnes, he estimated, while the Asian country’s demand will be 23 million tonnes, leaving a small surplus which has grown from 100,000 tonnes in 2012.
In the rest of the world, Reyes estimates production of primary aluminium output to be 26.605 million, with demand forecast to be 26.42 million tonnes.
This leaves the world excluding China with a surplus of 185,000 tonnes, Reyes added in a presentation prepared for an industry conference in Coronado, California.
Chinese production is expected to grow by 2.8 million tonnes, with demand growth of 2.3 million tonnes, he said.
Production curtailments in China will total just 250,000 tonnes, the same amount as is forecast to be cut in the rest of the world this year, Reyes said.
The rest of the world will see its aluminium market balance move from a deficit of 362,000 tonnes to a small surplus of 185,000 tonnes, he added.
This will be the result of production growth of 1.852 million tonnes, and demand growth of 1.055 million tonnes, he said.