UC Rusal Back in the Black Thanks to Rising Aluminum Prices, Cost Cutting

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The world’s top aluminum producer, United Company Rusal, said Wednesday it had bounced back into profit in the second quarter as improved metal prices on global markets and cost-cutting began impacting its balance sheet.

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The Hong-Kong-listed firm reported a net profit of $116 million for the three months ending June, after a Q1 loss of $325 million. It was the first time the company logged bottom-line earnings since Q1 2013.

“The market environment is improving,” Board Chairman Matthias Warning said in a statement, with CEO Oleg Deripaska adding that the price of aluminum had surged by 24 percent since a four-and-a-half-year low in February. Total quarterly revenue grew by 6.5 percent quarter-on-quarter to $2.26 billion.

Weakening prices changed direction when the cash price of primary Indian aluminum rose 0.9 percent on Tuesday, August 26 to INR 125.30 ($2.07) per kilogram. On the LME, the primary aluminum cash price remained essentially flat at $2,055 per metric ton. The 3-month price of aluminum showed little movement yesterday on the LME at $2,060 per metric ton.

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Chinese aluminum prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap continues hovering around CNY 12,250 ($1,990) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese aluminum billet held flat at CNY 13,590 ($2,208) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum bar was unchanged at CNY 14,200 ($2,307) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese aluminum remained essentially flat at CNY 13,960 ($2,268) per metric ton.

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