What are the Prospects for a Rio Tinto/Alcan and Alcoa Merger?

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The Australian reports there is talk of an aluminum metal merger between Rio Tinto’s Alcan division  and Alcoa.

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Industry gossip has been that the pair are planning to combine their aluminum smelting assets in Europe and North America in an attempt to counter the rise of the Chinese aluminum industry, as well as to blindside rival Glencore.

China has come to dominate the global aluminum industry in the space of 15 years, so there is a requirement for a pushback by Western producers, so the chatter goes.

On Thursday, January 29, the cash price of primary Indian aluminum fell by 0.7%, landing at INR 112.90 ($1.84) per kilogram and making it the day’s biggest mover. After a 0.1% increase, the cash price of primary aluminum finished the day on the LME at $1,849 per metric ton. The 3-month price of aluminum held steady yesterday on the LME, remaining around $1,858 per metric ton.

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Chinese aluminum closed mixed yesterday. The Chinese aluminum cash price declined 0.2% to CNY 12,670 ($2,029) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum bar finished the day down 0.2% to CNY 12,680 ($2,030) per metric ton. Chinese aluminum scrap stayed flat at around CNY 12,200 ($1,954) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum billet was unchanged at CNY 13,200 ($2,114) per metric ton.

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