Aluminum isn’t the worst-performing base metal this year, an honor that goes to copper. Yet that’s only because it had less far to fall: Demand was ailing well before the coronavirus forced some three billion people to stay home.
Add the near-total shutdown of the world’s auto and aviation industry, crunching more than a third of demand, and the lightweight metal is fast heading for levels last seen during the global financial crisis.
That should translate into some of the mining industry’s deepest cuts as the pandemic forces producers such as Alcoa Corp. and Rio Tinto Group to take long-overdue decisions.
Aluminum is a serial underperformer, having racked up the biggest real losses for any base metal since 1913, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.
Demand has slowed for a decade, and a surplus was expected this year even before the current crisis. Prices have declined for eight consecutive weeks to below $1,500 per metric ton. That’s made most of the world’s production unprofitable.
For the rest of this article: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-04-06/canned-food-sprees-won-t-save-aluminum