Alunorte suspension news reverses alumina index dip; market wary of Brazil gvt next moves

Participants in the alumina industry are bracing themselves for a turbulent end to the year following Hydro’s announcement that it will suspend 100% of operations at its Alunorte facility.

Alumina refinery Alunorte has been running at 50% capacity since March. The decision for a full curtailment came on Wednesday October 3 following embargoes from Brazilian authorities.
Hydro said that the closure of Alunorte will also lead to the imminent shutdown of its Paragominas bauxite mine, which supplies the alumina refinery.
In 2017, Alunorte produced approximately 6.4 million tonnes of alumina, which is around 10% of global production outside of China. Hydro’s Paragominas bauxite mine reached a yearly production of 11.4 million tonnes in the same period.
“Nobody expected it to go this way. After [Hydro] signed a deal last month with the Brazilian government everyone was confident there would be a resolution,” a trader said.
“But now, we remain on our toes and the alumina rollercoaster continues. Nothing is trading at the moment, but the next few days are critical,” he added.

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Alice Mason

October 04, 2018

16:40 GMT