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.