Aluminum producers push to form global industry group to curb ‘abundant overcapacities’ – by Naomi Powell (Financial Post – April 18, 2018)

Canadian aluminum producers are pushing G20 leaders to form a global industry group to manage excess capacity of the metal amid ongoing turbulence in the industry due to U.S. import tariffs on China and sanctions on Russia’s United Company Rusal, the world’s second largest aluminum producer.

The Aluminum Association of Canada, along with similar organizations from Europe, the United States, Japan, Brazil and Mexico sent a joint letter last week pressing foreign ministers to establish a forum similar to the one created for the steel industry at the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China in 2016.

The various aluminum associations will hold a preliminary gathering in Montreal on June 4 to develop a “road map” for the proposed Global Aluminum Forum ahead of the 2018 G20 summit in Argentina.

“We are concerned about the unsustainable and steady increase of overcapacity particularly in China,” the letter states. “While efforts to curtail subsidised or illegal production in China are welcomed, recent data shows that such measures are insufficient to tackle the abundant overcapacities.”

China’s share of world aluminum production increased from 11 per cent in 2000 to 55 per cent in 2016, according to the Canadian association. Though the country consumes the vast majority of what it produces, it exports 3.5 million tonnes of aluminum each year, more than Canada’s entire annual production of 3.2 million tonnes.

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