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Oversupply forces Alcoa to cut 390,000 tonnes of annual alumina production

Due to an oversupply in the Atlantic region, the world’s third-largest producer of aluminum, Alcoa, announced that it was cutting 390,000 tonnes of production of alumina.

“Alcoa is taking these steps to avoid aggravating alumina oversupply in the Atlantic region and to enhance the efficiency of our refining system,” said Chris Ayers, president of Alcoa’s Global Primary Products. “We will continue to monitor market conditions and will take further action if warranted.”

These are not the first cuts. At the start of the year, Alcoa announced the closure or curtailment of 531,000 metric tons of smelting capacity. It permanently closed Tennessee and Texas facilities, representing 291,000 tonnes, that had been idled since 2009. Another 240,000 metric tons, or 5% of Alcoa’s smelting capacity, represented curtailments to be taken in Portovesme, Italy and La Coruna and Aviles, Spain.

The company said that the curtailments will reduce Alcoa’s refining capacity in the Atlantic region by about four percent and are already underway. The Atlantic region represents about 50 percent of Alcoa’s total global refining capacity of 18 million metric tons per year.

The top two producers of aluminum are Rio Tinto Alcan and Rusal.