Alcoa to Close Aluminum Smelter and Two Rolling Mills in Australia

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Alcoa Inc has made another tough decision. The company “said it will close its Point Henry aluminium smelter and two rolling mills in Australia, underscoring the dire market conditions facing producers amid a flood of new Chinese capacity,” reports Reuters.

“Alcoa is shutting the 50-year-old smelter after a two-year review found no prospect of it becoming financially viable.”

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“Australia was once one of the world’s biggest aluminium producing countries but has slipped to fifth as costs of production climbed and prices dropped.”

“Point Henry’s closure in August will eliminate around 190,000 tonnes of annual aluminium-making capacity, equal to about 10 percent of Australia’s total yearly output.”

“‘These assets are no longer competitive and are not financially sustainable today or into the future,’ Alcoa Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld said.”

“Including the Point Henry smelter, Alcoa has announced closures or curtailments representing 551,000 tonnes of smelting capacity, exceeding the 460,000 tonnes placed under review in May 2013.”

In metal price news for aluminum…
The LME saw no movement for the cash price of primary aluminum which kept around $1,710 per metric ton. The aluminum 3-month price ended a two-day climb, settling at $1,750 per metric ton on the LME. After a couple of days of improving prices, the cash price of primary Indian aluminum held steady.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

Chinese aluminum prices closed flat for the day. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese aluminum scrap remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese aluminum billet remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese aluminum bar held steady. The cash price of Chinese aluminum saw little movement last Friday.