Shanghai - Aluminium shipments from China, which climbed 43 percent in the first quarter, have probably peaked in the near term as the country’s sustained production dragged down prices, according to CLSA Ltd.
Exports of unwrought aluminium and aluminium products rose from a year earlier to 1.21 million metric tons in the January-March quarter, according to a statement released by the General Administration of Customs on Monday in Beijing. Shipments shrank 15 percent in March to 360 000 tons from the previous month, according to customs, as prices fell for a second month.
China, producer of about half the world’s primary aluminium, continues to add capacity, while smelters elsewhere struggle to cut enough supply to buoy prices. The surcharges that consumers pay to obtain the metal are falling from an all-time high as demand can’t keep up with record exports from China.
“The imports seen in the first quarter probably mark a near-term peak,” Ian Roper, a commodity strategist at CLSA, said by phone. “Prices have fallen enough that the Chinese economics for export currently don’t work.”