Forecasts and market analysis based on price assessments from Fastmarkets MB and Fastmarkets AMM

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January 2019 | Base Metals

Aluminium: China the key

We believe the main trend for aluminium prices this year should be sideways, with rally attempts sold into. While we don’t think the market will plumb the depths it did in 2015 – as a 1.2 million tonne global supply deficit will provide fundamental support – we are wary that the downtrend in prices that dominated H2 2018 may not have seen its lows yet. Overall, we expect aluminium prices to average $1,980 per tonne in 2019, down from $2,111 per tonne in 2018. China will be the key for aluminium, with stimulus to boost demand, cutbacks to trim supply and trade to adapt to barriers.

Trade war the biggest external risk for aluminium and the global economy in 2019
We believe that the trade war between China and US remains the biggest external risk for the world’s two largest economies and will continue to weigh on the global economy in 2019.

According to the Chinese Economy Blue Book 2019 published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) at the end of last December, both China and the US would experience major decreases in exports and employment under all three scenarios when different rates of US tariffs are...


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