In April, total bauxite production declined by 5% on a year-over-year basis to reach 754kt. This outturn was the result of a drop in crude volumes generated for the Asian market, as well as, production disruptions at two of the island’s refineries.
Low third party sale of crude bauxite persisted in the month forcing another downturn in production.Crude bauxite output declined by 18% from 263kt a year earlier to 215kt in April 2019. The decline, for the second consecutive month, now means that the year-to-date production is lagging 10% behind levels recorded in the same month last year.
Alumina production, on the other hand, increased by 12% to 212kt when compared with last year. The sector continues to benefit from the reopened Alpart, which is showing signs of recovery from a recent boiler failure. Alpart’s output hit the 100kt in April for the first time since September 2018. For the other refineries, there was a power disruption at Jamalco, coupled with equipment overhaul, which toppled production by 21% year-over-year, while industrial action at Windalco had a similar impact on its output. Despite these disruptions, the year-to-date performance shows alumina production running ahead of last April by 12%.
During the month, the alumina refineries operated at an average capacity utilization of 70%, up by 8% when compared with the same period last year. Read more