Alcoa, the world’s largest aluminum manufacturer, recently expanded operations in its Hungary plant and US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) claims the company will soon announce a similar modernization and expansion in its upstate East Massena, NY, plant. Alcoa has until December of 2015 to announce whether it will put more than $600 million into modernizing the currently closed plant.
“The expansion, the modernization is still happening,” Schumer said. “The expansion of jobs in the longer run is still committed, but they’ve slowed down the expansion of jobs in the west part of the plant.”
Schumer also commented on the price of aluminum and how it will affect Alcoa’s operations.
“The demand for aluminum has gone up, but the price continues to stay very low,” he said.
Mr. Schumer said he doesn’t want to company to make a poor economic decision, but simply keep its commitments to the region. “We want them, when they grow, to make sure they grow here first, as they committed,” Schumer said, as reported by the Watertown Daily Times, referring to the agreement for a long-term supply for low-cost hydropower that Alcoa as with the state.
Schumer was not wrong about weakening prices. The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Aluminum MMI® was the aluminum cash price, which saw a 2.6 percent decline on the LME to $1,672 per metric ton. This week marked the third in a row of declining prices for the metal. The aluminum 3-month price fell 2.5 percent on the LME over the past week to $1,715 per metric ton. This was the fourth week in a row of declining prices. The Indian aluminum cash price rose 1.0 percent tafter falling 1.1 percent during the previous week.
The week saw the CME Group, the parent of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, announce a new aluminum futures contract, a competitor to the LME, which has been criticized by both buyers and manufacturers as being too slow for modern purchasing decisions.
Chinese aluminum prices were mixed for the week. The cash price of Chinese aluminum fell 1.9 percent. This was the fourth week in a row of declining prices. Chinese aluminum bar remained essentially flat from the previous week. Closing Chinese aluminum billet remained unchanged for the week.
Korean 3003 coil premium over 1050 sheet traded sideways last week, hovering around its high. Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet prices held steady from the previous week. The week finished with no movement for European 5083 plate. European 1050 aluminum remained unchanged for the week.
The Aluminum MMI® collects and weights 12 global aluminum price points to provide a unique view into aluminum price trends. For more information on the Aluminum MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.