In 2018, Hydro's Alunorte event in Brazil (hereinafter referred to as the “Hideru incident”) disturbed the overseas alumina market. The price of alumina fluctuated and the shortage of overseas supply became more serious. At the same time, it also promoted the roller coaster change of aluminum prices. The flow of alumina trade has undergone dramatic changes, and China has changed from a major importer of alumina to a major exporter of alumina.
According to the resumption of production agreement and Hydro related reports, the market expects the earliest resumption of production in the fourth quarter has been basically hopeless. Hydro seems to be in the second quarter of 2019 at the latest, and the market is optimistic that there is a possibility of a resumption of production in the first quarter.
The uncertainty of the resumption of production in Hydro is large, and the possibility of resuming production in the third quarter of 2019, and even the possibility of resumption of production in 2019. China's alumina exports are expected to be nearly 1.35 million tons in 2018. In 2019, the shortage of overseas markets still exists. It is expected that there will still be 700,000-900,000 tons of alumina exports in China.
Overseas markets are expected to remain short next year
According to the latest research data of CRU, in 2018, the global alumina market shortage pattern has changed from last year. In 2017, there was a large supply of domestic alumina, and there was a large gap in overseas alumina supply. In 2018, there was a shortage of both domestic and foreign. It is expected that the supply and demand situation of alumina in 2019 will be a surplus in the Chinese market, and the overseas market will remain short.
In 2018, among the top ten alumina producers in the world, China occupied five seats, and the actual output reached 52.6 million tons, occupying a major domestic market share. There are mainly five large producers of overseas alumina, and the actual output is nearly 39 million tons. Among them, Alcoa's production capacity is mainly in Australia and Brazil; Rio Tinto's production capacity is mainly in Canada and Australia; Rusal's production capacity is relatively fragmented, Russia's domestic production capacity is relatively large; Hydro has the world's largest single alumina Plant - Alunorte Alumina Plant; South Extension 32's main alumina capacity is distributed in Australia.