Q2 global aluminum consumption increased 15% to 14.8 mil mt: Hydro

London (Platts)--21 Jul 2015 857 am EDT/1257 GMT

Norsk Hydro said Tuesday global primary aluminum consumption increased by 15% to 14.8 million mt in the second quarter compared with the first quarter of 2015, and was up by 5% compared with the second quarter of 2014.

Global demand growth for 2015 is expected to be around 5%, the company said in its Q2 results.

Global demand (excluding China) increased by 5.8% compared with Q1 and was 2.1% higher compared to the second quarter of Q2 2014.

Annualized consumption amounted to 28.2 million mt for the quarter.

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Production for the same period amounted to 26.3 million mt.

"This was the same level as in Q1 and up 0.7% from Q2 2014, driven by a ramp-up of new production capacity in India and some announced restarts in Europe," Hydro said.

Global demand for primary aluminum (excluding China) is expected to grow 2-3% in 2015.


Aluminum consumption increased seasonally by 25.7% to 7.7 million mt in China compared to Q1 and was up 7.1% compared to Q2 2014.

Compared to Q2 2014, aluminum production increased 13.7% in China.

"Ramp up of new capacity continued in the Northwest regions, while closures in Eastern regions have been more limited. Shanghai Futures Exchange prices declined 0.9% compared to Q1," Hydro said.

In Europe, demand for extrusion ingot, sheet ingot and primary foundry alloys in Q2 was slightly higher compared to the same period in 2014.

Product premiums have fallen following the decline in standard ingot premiums.

The decline in standard ingot premiums throughout the quarter is expected to impact developments for value added premiums also going forward, the company said.


European demand for flat rolled products in Q2 increased by around 2% compared to Q1 mainly due to seasonality and improved demand in engineering.

Demand growth was at the same level compared to Q2 of the previous year.

Demand for automotive products was higher compared to Q1 despite lower car production, primarily due to the increasing substitution of steel by aluminum for automotive body sheet.

Despite a slight seasonal increase, building and construction demand was low in Southern Europe in particular, following somewhat improved market conditions in Q1.

The foil market showed a healthy demand growth, influenced by improved consumer sentiment and restocking activities.

Demand growth in the beverage can and general engineering markets was solid.

General engineering was positively influenced by a somewhat reduced import pressure as the euro weakened.

"Market demand in Q3 is expected to be stable," Hydro said.


Demand for extruded products in North America increased by 4% in Q2 compared to the previous quarter, due to seasonal variations in demand and strong markets.

Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, demand grew 8%, due to strong automotive and truck demand and a ramp up of residential building and construction activity.

In Europe, Q2 extruded product demand seasonally increased 5% compared with the previous quarter.

"Demand is showing signs of improvement compared to the same quarter of the previous year, but the weaker building and construction market is, to a large degree, offsetting most other segments," Hydro said.

Demand for extruded products is expected to seasonally weaken in Europe going into Q3, compared with Q2, while in North America demand is expected to remain stable.

"When compared to the same quarter last year, demand in Europe in Q3 is expected to improve slightly, while the strong development is expected to continue in North America," Hydro added.

--Greg Smart,
--Edited by James Leech,

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