Chinese State Aluminum Producer CHALCO Posts $671 Million Loss

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The Aluminum Corporation of China (CHALCO), posted a loss of 4.12 billion yuan ($671 million), or 0.3 yuan a share, in the first half. That compared with a loss of 623.8 million yuan, or 0.05 yuan a share, a year ago, it said in a statement, citing Chinese accounting standards. Sales declined 8.6 percent to 70.1 billion yuan.

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Aluminum prices on the London Metal Exchange averaged about 8 percent lower in the first-half of 2014 than a year earlier. The lightweight metal’s prices have since rebounded, reaching an 18-month high of $2,100 a metric ton on Aug. 26, as producers including CHALCO shuttered capacity.

The company said it still faces a “tough” operating environment in the second half.

The loss contrasts with United Co. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer, which yesterday reported its first profit in five quarters as prices and premiums rose. Alcoa Inc. last month posted better-than-expected profit in the second quarter on the strength of its smelting business.

The aluminum 3-month price saw the biggest upwards shift for the day, rising 1.4 percent on the LME to close at $2,089 per metric ton on Wednesday, August 27. On the LME, the primary aluminum cash price inched up 1.3 percent to $2,082 per metric ton. At INR 126.60 ($2.09), the cash price of primary Indian aluminum finished the market day up 1.0 percent per kilogram.

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Chinese aluminum prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap was unchanged at CNY 12,250 ($1,991) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum billet continues hovering around CNY 13,590 ($2,208) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese aluminum bar held steady at CNY 14,200 ($2,308) per metric ton. The cash price of Chinese aluminum saw little movement at CNY 13,960 ($2,269) per metric ton.

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