Aluminum production reaches new high

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Global aluminium production reached a new high in March despite cuts to capacity by the biggest manufacturers.

The Financial Times | Xan Rice | April 23, 2014

Companies such as Alcoa, Rusal and Rio Tinto have been shutting smelters over the past two years in an effort to tackle oversupply, as depressed prices continue to weigh on the industry. But surging output in China has more than offset these cuts.

Production of the lightweight metal rose to 4.329m tonnes last month, a 5 per cent year-on-year increase, according to the International Aluminium Institute. The previous monthly high, of 4.255m tonnes, was achieved in October.

While output decreased over the past 12 months in Europe and the Americas, production rose by nearly a fifth in the Middle East, where smelter owners benefit from cheap energy. But the biggest increase occurred in China, where aluminium production rose from 1.734m tonnes in March 2013 to a record 1.984m tonnes last month. China now accounts for 46 per cent of global aluminium output, compared with 21 per cent a decade ago.

Source: The Financial Times