The ministry of industry and information technology (miit) recently released the operating situation of the non-ferrous metal industry in 2018 and the outlook for 2019. In 2018, China's non-ferrous metal output grew steadily, investment recovered, overseas investment made positive progress, supply-side structural reform was deepened, and industrial transformation and upgrading were accelerated. In 2019, China will accelerate the innovation and development of new non-ferrous materials and new forms of business, upgrade the level of intelligent and green development of the industrial chain, and promote supply-side structural reform.
(1) output grew steadily and investment recovered. In 2018, the output of ten non-ferrous metals reached 56.88 million tons, up 6% year-on-year. Among them, the output of copper, aluminum, lead and zinc was 9.03 million tons, 35.8 million tons, 5.11 million tons and 5.68 million tons, respectively, up 8.0%, 7.4%, 9.8% and -3.2% year-on-year. Copper and aluminum production was 17.16 million tons and 45.55 million tons, respectively, up 14.5 percent and 2.6 percent year-on-year. In 2018, fixed asset investment in non-ferrous industry increased by 1.2% year on year, among which, investment in mining and mineral extraction decreased by 8% year on year, investment in smelting and processing increased by 3.2% year on year. From scale expansion, investment in environmental protection, safety and other technological changes, as well as research and development of high-end materials and new technologies were intensified.
(2) high prices fell back shock, industry efficiency fell significantly. In 2018, the average spot prices of copper and lead were 50,689 yuan per ton and 19,126 yuan per ton, up 2.9 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively, year on year, with an increase of 26 percent and 22 percent, respectively. The average spot prices of aluminum and zinc were 14,262 yuan per ton and 23,674 yuan per ton, respectively, down 1.8 percent and 1.7 percent year on year. The main business income of non-ferrous enterprises above designated size reached 5428.9 billion yuan, up by 8.8% year on year. The profit was 185.5 billion yuan, down by 6.1% year on year. The profits of smelting and processing were 67.9 billion yuan and 75.6 billion yuan, respectively, down 10.2% and 5.6% year on year. In particular, the profits of aluminum industry declined 40.1% year on year, which became the main drag on the industry.
The import and export situation has changed and overseas investment has made positive progress. Annual exports of unwrought aluminum and aluminum rolled 5.8 million tons, an increase of 20.9 percent. With the implementation of the policy of banning foreign garbage entry, the import of copper scrap decreased by 32.2% year on year, while the import of refined copper increased by 15.5% year on year. The development of overseas resources was actively promoted, and new progress was made in overseas projects such as chinalco, minmetals, zhongjin lingnan and weiqiao.
(4) supply-side structural reform was deepened, and industrial transformation and upgrading were accelerated. Efforts have been made to control the production capacity and adjust the structure. More than 3.3 million tons of electrolytic aluminum production capacity has been transferred to energy-rich areas such as Inner Mongolia and yunnan through capacity replacement. Chinalco's integration with yunnan metallurgy and shandong weiqiao's holding of lufeng stock have made continuous progress. Progress was made in deleveraging, with the industry asset-liability ratio falling by 0.6 percentage points to 62.2 percent year-on-year. Short plate filling has been accelerated, 7050 full-size aluminum alloy thick plate has been installed with license, aluminum air battery, nano ceramic aluminum alloy and other industrialization, copper, aluminum smelting energy consumption has been reduced, the level of green development has been improved.