Commodity Corner

Views on commodities and energy

Will Russia cut aluminum production after winter thaw?

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On Alcoa’s quarterly conference call this week, CEO Klaus Kleinfeld pointed out that there is currently a 1.4 million tonne aluminum surplus in the world outside of China, and therefore to expect more production to come off line in coming months above the already-announced 1.6 million tonnes of production that has yet to be implemented.

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Source: Alcoa

Both Alcoa, as the world’s largest aluminum producer, and China, producing more than 13 million tonnes in 2008, have idled substantial percentages of their output.

Russia, however, with about 4.2 million annual tonnes of capacity, has not curtailed any production, said Kleinfeld.

He said he thought political factors centered around maintaining employment levels have kept Russian smelters running.

from MacroScope:

“Tinny” signs of recovery

One of the most significant comments about the world economy this week may have come from Klaus Kleinfeld, the chief executive officier and president of Alcoa, America's largest aluminium producer. Amid the reporting of  pretty horrible earnings  -- a $497 million net loss versus a year-earlier gain of $303 million -- Kleinfeld said things may not get much worse.

"There are some signs in many of our end industries for a bottoming out," he said.