Norwegian aluminium maker Hydro’s primary aluminium production rose by 55,000mt to 545,000mt in the fourth quarter from a year ago on lower raw material costs.
For the Jan-Mar quarter (Q1), Hydro expects raw material costs to continue their downtrend. Primary aluminium will be priced at $1,750/mt for 50pc of its production, as per the bookings available with the company as on Dec 31, 2019, and 55pc of premiums will remain at $260/mt up from $257mt in the prior quarter.
Primary Metal Production
The company’s primary metal production rose by 55,000mt to 545,000mt in Q4 from the prior year. Hydro’s sales volumes increased following the ramp-up at Albras, Brazil that had curtailed 230,000mt annual production in mid-April, 2018.
Hydro’s subsidiary Alunorte is expected to reach 90-95pc of its nameplate capacity in Q1. The company’s alumina production rose by 644,000mt to 1.43mt alumina in Q4 from the prior year, but the alumina prices fell to $281/mt from 463/mt in the prior year. Alunorte produced 90pc of its nameplate capacity.
Re-melted Metal Production
Re-melted metal production fell by 14,000mt to 121,000mt in Q4 from 135,000mt in the prior year on lower volumes and margins.
Rolled aluminium production remained stabled at 219,000mt from 220,000mt on improved performance at Neuss smelter and lower raw material costs. Hydro expects weak demand for rolled products in Q1.
In Q1, demand for extrusion products is expected to decline in Europe and America. For Q4, extrusion production fell by 46,000mt to 272,000mt.
Hydro’s earnings before financial items and tax rose to NOK560mn ($60.40mn) in Q4 2019 from $57.60mn in the prior year.
($1 = NOK9.27)