Russian Federation aluminium giant U.C. Rusal reported first-quarter financial and production results yesterday. Though production and sales remained relatively steady in the quarter, financial numbers struggled due to a drop in prices at the LME and the tail end of sanctions placed upon it by the United States government.
In the first quarter Rusal smelted 928 thousand metric tons of primary aluminium, down by 1.6 percent from the prior quarter and 0.3 percent on the year. The firm’s smelter at Bratsk led the way with 250 thousand metric tons, followed closely by Krasnoyarsk with 249 thousand metric tons, then Sayanogorsk smelter with 133 thousand metric tons. Overall, Siberia’s smelters accounted for 93 percent of the primary aluminium produced in the quarter.
Rusal refined a total of 1,932 thousand metric tons of alumina last quarter, a drop of 1.3 percent from the fourth quarter but up 2.1 percent from last year’s opening quarter. Aughinish Alumina led the charge in the quarter with 479 thousand metric tons, followed by Nikolaev with 423 thousand metric tons, then Bogoslovsk with 253 thousand metric tons.
Rusal’s bauxite operations mined 3,831 thousand metric tons of the ore, a 3-percent increase on the quarter and a 29.4-percent jump on the year. Guinea’s Kindia mine topped the quarter with 904 thousand metric tons of ore, then Dian-dian mine’s 732 thousand metric tons, followed by the Timan mine’s 663 thousand metric tons.
In the first quarter Rusal sold 896 thousand metric tons of aluminium product, a 2.2-percent rise from the fourth quarter but a drop of 7.2 percent on the year. Sales of value-added aluminium dropped by 22.2 percent on the quarter to 259 thousand metric tons. The quarter’s sales overall suffered due to sanctions levied by the United States government, which finally ended in late January.
Rusal enjoyed an average realized price of US$1,949/metric ton, off by 7.8 percent from the fourth quarter’s average and off 16.2 percent on the year. The firm says the drop is the result of a corresponding fall in aluminium prices at the LME and effects from the aforementioned U.S. sanctions.