The recent aluminum price trend shows that the global prices of the light grey metal is falling and hovering within a pretty low range. The future price of aluminum looks pretty uncertain, when we observe the trend in LME price chart.
LME spot prices have been dipping below $2,000 per metric ton throughout May — which is putting aluminium producers worldwide in a troubled zone. LME aluminum’s 3-month price saw a 0.9 percent decline to $1,996 per metric ton. The light metal shed another three per cent by 1st of June to fall to $1937 per tonne, lowest on the LME in the past two years. All the major alumina smelters are considering output cuts to withstand the pressure of low price, and high cost of production. More production cuts are likely if aluminum prices fall and stay below $2,000 per metric ton throughout.
In January, Alcoa announced that it would cut its global smelting capacity by 12 percent. They were the first to take action for cost cutting in a market where aluminium price was dropping constantly. In April, it announced a cut of 390K ton refining capacity in the Atlantic region. Looking at the continued uncertainty in the global economy, RUSAL is currently considering 300,000-600,000 tons of high-cost smelting capacity cut to compensate the 84 percent drop in its profits in the first quarter. According to the Rusal’s website, that is equal to 6.4 percent to 13 percent of total capacity.
The effect of falling price can be seen in China, one of the largest consumers of aluminium. Five major Chinese alumina smelters including Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco) have declared 10% output cut from June, in the hope of stabilizing the market. There will be more capacity cuts in future until the aluminium prices improve and settle within a decent range.
These days, SME aluminium is being influenced by the global weak economy and it tends to slow down due to the low LME price. More production cuts are possible if aluminum prices fall and stay below RMB15, 000 per ton and the prices are trading around RMB15, 800.
The Indian scenario is not very encouraging either. Purchasing powers of the customers are bound to be low due to the weak rupee and that is affecting the auto industry. Dollar is climbing high against the EURO which reduces the appeal for metals like Copper and Aluminium. Aluminium dropped to 5-week’s low by 0.6% or Rs 0.6 at Rs 108.25 per kg during the first week of June.
Economic slowdown, Declining auto sales and ample aluminium inventories are reasons that are hitting the aluminium industry. Aluminium prices are dipping every day, inducing a constant fear among the producers that the metal prices will crash all time low in the near future. Experts suggested that Aluminium prices on LME are likely to hover between $2,100-2,300 a ton in the near term but the way aluminium price is dipping every day, there is little possibility of price recovery in the near term.