BAUXITE & ALUMINA CONF: All eyes on Alunorte restart, impending alumina price drop

Market participants expect alumina prices to plummet upon any future announcement that Hydro’s alumina refinery, Alunorte, can return to full capacity, but agree the scheduled court date does not provide any further clarity.

Alunorte, the largest alumina refinery in the world, has been running at only 50% of its production capacity since March 2018 because of restrictions imposed by authorities in Brazil. The situation had the attention of every delegate at Fastmarkets’ 25th Bauxite and Alumina conference in Miami this week (March 25-27) with traders preparing for more extreme volatility in 2019. “The past year there has been a cloud over the market and we are still in the unknown, nobody can predict the next move with Alunorte and it’s a tough market,” a trader said. During the conference, Hydro announced that the federal court in Belém, in the northern Brazilian state of Pará, has scheduled a conciliatory hearing between Alunorte and the country’s federal prosecutors’ office (MPF) for April 4. “The announcement [of a court hearing] gave some confidence that it will be a ‘when’ and not ‘if’ regarding Alunorte’s return because people...

Published

Alice Mason

March 28, 2019

13:57 GMT

Miami