Aluminium producers optimistic of recovery – Japan’s iro ore imports drop year-on-year – China economic downturn could affect metals market

30 November 2020 (Last Updated November 30th, 2020 09:26)

30 November

Aluminium producers in Europe are expecting a robust first quarter in 2021, as they are predicting output to reach close to pre-Covid-19 levels. Argus Media reported that consumers of the metal are expecting operational levels in Q1 next year to reach 80 to 90% of the levels achieved in the first quarter of 2019. The prices of aluminium are also unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with news of a vaccine infusing confidence among producers.

Iron ore imports to Japan in October fell 12% to 8.8Mt compared with the same period in 2019, as the coronavirus pandemic slumped supplies from countries like the US, Brazil and Canada. Nevertheless, imports in October rose 9.8% from the previous month, as local crude steel output for the month stood at 7.2Mt, posting a 11% increase from September.

The potential slowing of China’s economic growth is expected to take a toll on the metals market in the next ten years, even as minerals commodities are projected to perform strongly over the next 24 months. The Asian giant’s economy is expected to slump as the urbanisation and demographic growth is expected to shift to developing countries. China is the only country which did not witness a decline in industrial output despite the Covid-19 pandemic.