Global aluminium producer Rusal produced 940,000mt of aluminium in the first quarter of 2020, up by 1.3pc from 928,000mt in the prior year quarter and down marginally from the prior quarter, according to the company’s production update. Rusal expects the COVID-19 pandemic to negatively impact the global aluminium market in 2020 as supply surplus and weak demand from end-users pull down prices.
Rusal’s Siberian smelters contributed to 93pc to the group’s total aluminium output during this quarter. Rusal’s aluminium sales also dropped by 17.4pc to 914,000mt in the prior quarter, when sales were high due to sale of accumulated stocks and an increase in shipments to domestic consumers.
Global aluminium demand dropped by 6.4pc to 14.43mn mt in the first quarter, due to the spread of COVID-19 affecting the transport industry the most. The global supply, however, increased by 3.5pc to 16.12mn mt during this period, resulting in a surplus of 1.7mn mt of aluminium and causing prices to remain under pressure.
Rusal believes that the current price environment is preferential for primary aluminium compared to scrap, and expects primary aluminium to gain some share from scrap in 2020.
Rusal’s alumina output dropped by 1.8pc to 2mn mt and bauxite production dropped by 11.2pc to 3.58mn mt from the previous quarter.