Base metal prices have taken a hit in the domestic market, with aluminium prices correcting from mid-2018 levels to approximately USD 1,750 per tonne; as trade tensions continue between the United States and China.
Mr. T K Chand, Chairman & Managing Director of National Aluminium Company said that he expects aluminium prices to recover in the second half of 2019, though the trade war is a risk. He added that “Aluminium demand is likely to pick up in the US and also in European countries particularly Germany. In India, with strong and stable government, we expect that a lot of investment decisions will be taken which will push up the demand.”
Mr. Chand said that “The average alumina price currently is at USD 370 per tonne versus USD 470 per tonne from last year. We expect global alumina average prices to recover to USD 380-400 per tonne despite surplus.”
Speaking about sales and production target for FY20, the CMD said that “We expect that aluminium prices may move between USD 1,800 and USD 1,900 because right now aluminium prices are at rock-bottom. It cannot remain at that level because all smelters would then die out. Therefore, it will definitely improve and USD 1,800 to 1,900 will be the range within which it will be moving.”
He further added that “We are keeping the target of aluminium production at the same level of that of the last year that is 4.4 lakh tonne and in case the market picks up then we will be increasing it to 4.6 lakh which is the capacity.”