Russian Federation aluminium titan U.C. Rusal reported operational results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2016 yesterday. Though production totals tended to rise in the quarter and over the course of the year for aluminium and alumina, a difficult commodities market hampered profits derived from sales in 2016.
The firm’s fourth-quarter aluminium output totaled 930 thousand metric tons, a 1% rise quarter-on-quarter. Rusal’s Siberian smelters led the way in aluminium production, accounting for 94% of the quarterly total. The firm sold 922 thousand metric tons of aluminium in the quarter, a 6% drop quarter-on-quarter. Included in this total was 405 thousand metric tons of value-added products. The average realized price for the metal over the course of the quarter was US$1,799 per metric ton, an increase of 2.6% over the previous quarter. The firm chalks up this total to component growth at the London Metal Exchange.
Rusal’s aluminium production for the year totaled 3,685 thousand metric tons, a 1.1% increase over the previous year. The volume of aluminium sold over the course of the year totaled 3,818 thousand metric tons, up 4.9% from the previous year, with an average realized price of US$1,732 per metric ton, which was a drop of 13.4% from 2015. The year’s production volume increase was largely due to additional production by the Boguchansky smelter, whereas the firm attributes the price drop to structural changes in the market as well as an overall fall in LME aluminium prices.
Rusal’s alumina production for the just-ended quarter totaled 1,939 thousand metric tons, a 4% increase over the previous quarter. The firm’s Russian refineries accounted for one third of the quarter’s production. Output at the Nikolaev refinery in Ukraine jumped 12.3% thanks to a capacity upgrade, but the remainder of Rusal’s alumina assets produced volumes generally in line with the firm’s production plans. Modernizing and debottlenecking capacity at Russian and Ukranian refineries led to a 1.1% increase in production for the year, totaling 7,527 thousand metric tons.
Bauxite output fell 11.5% in the quarter to 2,841 thousand metric tons, largely due to a reduction in output at Rusal’s Timan mine. Production for the year was slightly higher, rising by 0.6% year-on-year to 12,187 thousand metric tons.