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China 2010 Aluminum Consumption Better Than Expected

China’s aluminum surplus is likely to narrow next year, as strong growth in consumption will absorb an increase an output, according to Beijing Antaike Information Development Co.

The world’s largest consumer is estimated to have a 350,000-metric-ton surplus this year, down from an earlier forecast of 800,000 tons, said Antaike analyst Li Yang in a speech at a conference in Zhengzhou today. He forecast the surplus will narrow further to 300,000 tons in 2011.

“Aluminum-related industries have been performing really well this year, boosting the demand for the metal,” Li said. “Looking into the future, the government’s push for energy conservation will underpin demand growth.”

Aluminum is used in cars, cans and airplanes. Alcoa Materials President Timothy Reyes said yesterday the country is going to shift to a net aluminum importer in the next few years.

The country’s consumption is likely to total 16.8 million tons this year, up 22 percent from 2009, while output may gain 28 percent to 17.5 million tons, Li said. Exports of aluminum and its alloy may reach 350,000 tons, he said.

Aluminum output in China may grow to 16 million tons this year, Zhang Fengkui, head of the nonferrous metals office at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said yesterday.

Antaike forecast output will grow 11 percent to 19.5 million tons in 2011, while consumption will increase 12 percent to 18.8 million tons and exports will total 400,000 tons.

Aluminum on the London Metals Exchange declined 1.1 percent to $2,365 a ton at 12:19 p.m. in Shanghai. The metal has climbed 6 percent this year.

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