Norsk Hydro’s aluminium production in 2020 rose 3pc to 2.09mn mt from the year prior while sales volume increased by 3pc to 2.18mn mt from 2019. Alumina production jumped 22pc to 5.45mn mt from the year prior. Alumina sales in the year rose 7pc to 3.05mn mt compared to 2019. Bauxite production was up 17pc to 8.64mn mt in 2020 from the prior year.
Q4 production and sales
In Q4, 1.4mn mt of alumina was produced, marginally down 1pc from the prior year but up 31pc from the previous quarter. Sales of alumina in the quarter dropped 2pc to 783,000mt from 2019, but up 7pc from September quarter.
Bauxite production in Q4 stood at 2.55mn mt, up 15pc from a year ago and more than doubled from the prior quarter. Aluminium production in Q4 stood at 532,000mt, down 2pc from the previous year and 2pc higher than the September quarter. Sales of aluminium stood at 547,000mt, up 3pc from the prior year and flat from the prior quarter.
Production hit by pandemic
The company stated that the pandemic year was tough and challenging for all as industrial production continued to recover. Aluminium market surplus was around 3mn mt by the end of 2020, lower than the previously estimated 5mn mt. Recovery in key segments including automotive, can, infrastructure and construction sector has driven market development in both rolling and extrusion in Q4. Operating rates at Hydro ran at normal levels in Q4 despite COVID-19 uncertainty looming over the markets.
Hydro resumed work at line B aluminium production at Husnes primary plant in Norway in November which now adds a 95,000mt electrolysis capacity. The company deided to restart line b after carefully evaluating the market improvements, combined with expectations that Norway would continue to utilize the EU’s emissions trading system 2021-2030.
Global production of primary aluminium in Q4 was at 16.76mn mt, up 6pc from the prior year. Global consumption has increased by 4pc to 16.4mn mt from previous year levels.
China’s production of primary aluminium in Q4 rose 10pc to 9.67mn mt while China’s consumption in the same period grew 6pc to 9.68mn mt from the previous year. Global production (excluding China) in Q4 was 7.08mn mt, almost flat from the previous year and consumption was also flat at 6.78mn mt.
Hydro reported its EBIT to NOK6,770mn ($796.29mn) in Q4 2020, compared to negative NOK399mn in Q4 2019. Net income was reported at NOK 7,277mn in the fourth quarter.
($1 = NOK8.50)