Alcoa Shuts Down 3 US Smelters; Chinese Copper Demand Will Wane

Copper demand has picked up in China recently but it’s unlikely to last and low prices have forced Alcoa to shut down three US smelters, the aluminum giant said.

Chinese Copper Demand

Stronger Chinese demand for copper in recent weeks is unlikely to last or to signal a broader recovery for the metal often regarded as a bellwether of economic growth, according to industry sources and a delve into data.

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A surge in Chinese imports of copper is mainly due to buyers taking advantage of low prices to restock, rather than representing increased industrial consumption of the metal widely used in the power and construction sectors.

Alcoa Close Smelters

Alcoa, Inc. said on Monday it will idle three of its four active US aluminum smelters, slashing annual capacity by 500,000 metric tons.

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The company said in a statement it will suspend its Intalco and Wenatchee smelters in Washington state and the Massena West smelter in New York state. It will also permanently close Massena East, also in New York, which was shuttered in 2014.

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