Developments in China triggered significant turbulence for the aluminium market in 2015. We expect 2016 to be the low point in the current down cycle for the average annual LME price - a year when the global supply demand balance tips into a nominal deficit. It will also be a year when risks to our base case will be at their highest with concerns that global demand growth may decelerate more sharply than our base case view and that the announced capacity curtailments in China do not materialise or are more than offset by activation of significant new capacity. The annual average cash price fell 11% in 2015 and we anticipate another year of tepid price action. We expect the cash price to shed $92/t in 2016 versus 2015, registering 5.5% decline. This Insight assesses the main themes likely to emerge in 2016 and the main risks to our base line forecasts.
Table of contents
Price outlook in 2016 remains uninspiring
Demand growth to exhibit slowdown not a meltdown
Will Chinese smelter cutbacks remain in place through 2016?
Alumina market heading towards balance
Malaysian mining ban to have little impact on bauxite market in 2016
Cost deflation to drive global cost curve lower
Risks for aluminium....but where is the reward?
Tables and charts
This report includes 4 images and tables including:
Softer demand conditions in 2016
Previously planned 2016 China smelter additions
Actual and modelled Chinese bauxite demand by source and imported stockpile, 2014-2016