JBI Bulletin - August 2019

In August, total bauxite production declined by 19% on a year-over-year basis to reach 735kt. This outturn was mainly the result of lower capacity utilization at Alpart and Noranda. For the first eight months of the year, crude bauxite production totaled 6.5 million tonnes, slipping 2.0% below production levels recorded over the same period in 2018.

Crude bauxite output for the month was down 25% to 226kt when compared with August 2018; this outturn was the second-lowest since the start of the year. The decline in production, reversed the positive trend observed up to July, resulting in the year-to-date production shedding 12% to 2.1 million tonnes relative to the comparable period of 2018. Lower uptake of crude bauxite by China continues to plague the sector.

Alumina production dipped 19% to 186kt year-on-year. The decline was due primarily to a 51% reduction in output from Alpart, as the plant reduced its digestion production to a single unit to cut caustic soda losses. Notwithstanding the fall, year-to-date production remains elevated relative to last year, up 5% to 1.7 million tonnes.

During the month, the alumina refineries operated at an average capacity utilization of 59%, down from 72% recorded over the same period last year. Read more