Barron’s: Alcoa’s Micromill Will Lead to Automotive Revolution

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With the release of the “Micromill” aluminum process, Alcoa continues to be the dominant innovation force in the automotive aluminum industry.

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Alcoa’s  finishing technology laid the foundation for the automotive aluminum revolution, and now the Micromill will open new fronts where aluminum will replace high strength steel on next-generation automotive models, a Barron’s analysis said. However, given premium pricing and niche applications, the Micromill will likely expand new markets for aluminum rather than disrupt current body-in-white (BiW) capacity plans.

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On Monday, December 8, the day’s biggest mover was the price of Chinese aluminum billet, which saw a 2.3% decline to CNY 13,380 ($2,176) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum scrap prices saw a 0.8% decline to CNY 12,600 ($2,049) per metric ton. The Chinese aluminum cash price declined 0.6% to CNY 13,380 ($2,176) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum bar ended the day at CNY 14,370 ($2,337) per metric ton, after the 0.6% drop yesterday.

On the LME, the primary aluminum cash price rose 1.4% to $2,002 per metric ton. At $1,996, the 3-month price of aluminum finished the market day on the LME up 1.1% per metric ton. The Indian aluminum cash price saw little movement yesterday, closing out around INR 123.25 ($1.99) per kilogram.

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