Aluminium: what to look for in 2016

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Report summary

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.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    Aluminium: what to look for in 2016

    PDF 292.63 KB

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • 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
  • Actual and modelled Chinese bauxite demand by source and imported stockpile, 2014-2016
  • Aluminium smelter cost curve by country, 2016


  • Previously planned 2016 China smelter additions

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