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Chalco becomes second biggest aluminum producer globally in 2018

Apr 3,2019

Chinese aluminium giant Beijing-based Chalco announced that it has increased annual aluminum output by 16% in 2018, putting it ahead of Russia’s Rusal as the world’s second-biggest publicly traded producer of the metal. The increase underscores China’s growing dominance of the global aluminium market, as the world’s biggest producer and consumer of the metal, although weak aluminium prices have already led to some production being shuttered this year.


Chalco the State-controlled corp, formally known as Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, said that its aluminum production came in at 4.17 million tonnes last year, beating Rusal that churned out 3.753 million tonnes, formerly the world’s top producer, who was overtaken in terms of output by China Hongqiao Group in 2015.


Chinalco - Chalco’s unlisted parent now has a group capacity of more than 5 million tonnes after taking over Yunnan Aluminium last year.


The U.S. announced sanctions on Rusal last April but withdrawn in January did not have any major impact on the company’s production, but its aluminium sales fell by 7.2 percent in 2018. In 2019 Rusal will keep its aluminium production stable at 3.8 million tonnes, its stakeholder En+ said.


Chalco last produced more metal than Rusal in 2012, when both firms produced more than 4 million tonnes of aluminium, according to a review of company filings. Chalco, which in late 2017 started a 500,000 tonne per year aluminum smelter in Inner Mongolia, has already shuttered 200,000 tonnes of capacity in 2019, while Rusal plans to launch the second line of its Boguchansk aluminum smelter in Siberia by the end of this month.


Chalco posted its first quarterly loss in more than three years and said annual net profits fell last year due to low aluminium prices and slack domestic demand.


Chalco also said its alumina production rose to 13.51 million tonnes i.e. by 5.5 percent in 2018 as it sought to capitalize on global shortages of the aluminium raw material.