Aluminum exports from Qatar hit a roadblock, and it could be some time before the situation is resolved.
According to a recent Reuters report, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar, leading to an aluminum manufacturing plant, partly owned by Norway’s Norsk Hydro, to seek other routes for export.
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The reason for top Arab nations breaking ties with Qatar? Alleged support of Islamic militants, which Qatar denies.
“Most Qatalum shipments normally go through the large Jebel Ali port in (the) UAE, but this port looks to be closed for all Qatar shipments from Tuesday morning,” a Norsk Hydro spokesman told Reuters.
The spokesman for Norsk Hydro added: “Our people are looking at whether we could ship directly from Qatar or use an alternative regional hub. Any solution would take time. There are several alternatives we are looking at and we will look at all possibilities. But this is complex and will take some time.”
Goldman Sachs Bullish on Aluminum?
The MetalMiner research team cites a recent report from CNBC, which has Goldman Sachs forecasting aluminum prices to hit $2,000 per metric ton in the next six months.
But is that too bullish?
“Aluminum is outperforming the rest of the industrial metals this year,” wrote Raul de Frutos. “However, if the expected capacity cuts don’t translate into lower output and China’s demand continues to show signs of a slowdown, we might not see aluminum trading above $2,000 per metric ton this year.”
How will aluminum and base metals fare in 2017? You can find a more in-depth aluminum price forecast and outlook in our brand-new Monthly Metal Buying Outlook report.
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