Reeling Aluminum Market Braces for Mining Giant Alcoa’s Outlook – by Joe Deaux (Bloomberg News – April 23, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — With the coronavirus crisis clouding the outlook for almost every industry, the aluminum market is hoping to get at least a glimpse of what’s in store from top U.S. producer Alcoa Corp. on Wednesday.

Aluminum, found in everything from jets to iPhones, has been among the worst-performing commodities during the crisis as governments lock down large swathes of their economies. Speculation is rising that the pandemic will spur shutdowns of smelters, which extract the metal from ore for use in applications.

Alcoa, which is set to report first-quarter results on Wednesday, typically also provides an outlook. It forecast in January that global supply would exceed demand by as much as 1 million metric tons this year.

Since then, things have only gotten worse, with aluminum prices in March posting the biggest monthly drop since 2011 amid supply-chain disruptions and shutdowns of manufacturers ranging from automakers to aerospace producers.

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