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Aluminum February 08, 2019 12:30:44 PM

RUSAL's Aluminum Output Surged 1.3% in 2018 Amidst 7% Decline in Sales

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The Q4 ’18 production edged higher marginally by 0.4% to 943,000 tonnes over the sequential quarter.
RUSAL's Aluminum Output Surged 1.3% in 2018 Amidst 7% Decline in Sales

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): United Company RUSAL Plc announced its operating results for the fourth quarter of 2018 and for the full year 2018.

During the whole year, Rusal’s aluminum production totaled 3.753 million tonnes (Mt), which is slightly higher by 1.3% over the prior year. On the other hand, the total sales of aluminum registered notable decline by 7.2% year-on-year to total 3.671 Mt. The average realized price of aluminum increased by 7.3% over the previous year to $2,259 per tonne in 2018.

The Q4 ’18 production edged higher marginally by 0.4% to 943,000 tonnes over the sequential quarter. Also, aluminum sales plunged heavily by over 16% during the quarter. The total alumina production too recorded decline by 2.1% over the prior quarter to total 1.958 Mt in the fourth quarter of 2018.

According to Rusal, the rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China led to investor sell-off of all LME metals, including aluminum. This impacted the metal prices towards the end of 2018. Aluminum continues to face several challenges including supply disruptions and soaring production costs. For instance, the smelting capacity cuts in China led to 0.6% year-on-year decline in the country’s aluminum production in 2018. This is the first time in history that the country has reported production decline over the year, Rusal noted.

The aluminum production outside China remained more or less flat during 2018. In general, Rusal sees aluminum market in heavy deficit. The demand is set to improve, with prices likely to see further upside. However, alumina market is expected to remain more or less balanced.