Rusal’s Aluminium and Alumina Production Up in Q3, But Bauxite Production Off

Russian Federation aluminium behemoth UC Rusal released operating results for the third quarter of 2017 yesterday, reporting modest gains in primary aluminium and alumina while showing a respectable drop in bauxite ore production.

Rusal produced 931 thousand metric tons of primary aluminium in the third quarter, a quarter-on-quarter increase of 1.1 percent from the second-quarter total of 921 thousand metric tons. The firm’s utilization rate remained steady at 95 percent. Krasnoyarsk led the way in the quarter, turning out 255 thousand metric tons of primary aluminium, with Bratsk nipping at their heels with a total quarterly production of 254 thousand metric tons. Overall, smelters in Siberia accounted for 94 percent of the quarter’s aluminium production.

Aluminium sales fell quarter-on-quarter, from a second-quarter total of 1,002 thousand metric tons to a third-quarter total of 968 thousand metric tons, which was a drop of 3.4 percent. Realized price rose in the quarter however, from a second-quarter average of US$2,081 per metric ton to a third-quarter take of US$2,124, which is a rise of 2.1 percent. Rusal chalks up the fall in sales to an increase in goods in transit due to shipping availability, promising that the volume will be realized in the fourth quarter.

The firm churned out 1,965 thousand metric tons of alumina in the quarter, a 1.9-percent improvement over last quarter’s total of 1,928 thousand metric tons. Rusal says that continuing ramp-up of capacity at Russian refineries coupled with an increase at Aughinish accounted for the rise in alumina production.

Bauxite production fell in the quarter, to 2,742 thousand metric tons from last quarter’s harvest of 3,090 thousand tons, which is a drop of 11.3 percent. Rusal says that scheduled repairs at Timan and adverse weather conditions in Guyana and Windalco conspired to hinder bauxite ore production in the quarter.

For the first nine months of the year Rusal reported a slight rise in aluminium production, from 2,756 thousand metric tons last year to 2,763 thousand metric tons this year. Aluminium foil and packaging saw a 20-percent increase in the first nine months of the year, from last year’s total of 62.2 thousand metric tons last year to 74.7 thousand metric tons this year. Alumina production rose from 5,588 thousand metric tons last year to 5,783 thousand metric tons in the first nine months of the current year, good for a 3.5-percent increase. Bauxite production dropped slightly, from last year’s nine-month total of 9,346 thousand metric tons to this year’s nine-month total of 8,701 thousand metric tons.

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