UC Rusal eyes aluminum exports to China
Russia’s United Company Rusal – the world’s largest aluminum producer – said it will start exporting aluminum to China from 2009, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Annual exports to China are expected to be between 200,000 and 300,000 tons at the very beginning. “The main problem for exports to China is the low prices,” the company’s sales manager said. “Aluminum contracts on the London Metal Exchange are trading at premiums over those on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.” Moscow-based UC Rusal sells 23% of its products to Asia, most of which go to Japan and South Korea. It plans to raise the percentage to 30% in the coming years. China is predicted to account for 36% of global aluminum consumption by 2010, up from 25% now. The country’s aluminum production may reach 12 million tons this year – one-third of the world’s total. It produced 9.3 million tons last year. UC Rusal was formed from the merger earlier this year of Russia's OAO United Company Rusal, rival Sual Group and the aluminum assets of Swiss-based commodities trader Glencore International AG.