Record 21-year inventory low, aluminium goes green, and more.
As a highly experienced aluminium stockist, we’re watching with great interest as the market, metal stocks and more fluctuate. In a week when the London Metal Exchange announced aluminium inventories are declining fast, with the latest inventory at just 453,875 mt, we’re seeing a low of the like we haven’t experienced for 21 years. This marks the fourth drop in as many weeks, setting a new record. Here’s the news.
Rio Tinto is being sued by Russian aluminium giant Rusal.
Rio Tinto, the huge Anglo-Australian multinational and the world’s second biggest metals and mining company, is being sued by the Russian aluminium giant Rusal.
Rio Tinto has taken control of a joint venture by the two companies as part of its decision to cut ties with Rusal over the Ukraine war. While Rio Tinto shares are up following the announcement, the Federal Court battle will see Rusal attempting to grab back control of its 20% stake in Queensland Alumina Ltd. Rio Tinto owns the other 80%.
Rusal claims Rio Tinto has breached its obligations. They’re asking the Australian Federal Court to restore its rights of ownership, as well as demanding an end to sanctions. Australia has already banned exports of alumina and bauxite to Russia.
Aluminium buyers in the EU and US pay a premium for the metal
Today’s global aluminium market is, to say the least, turbulent. The metal has long suffered from chronic oversupply thanks to China’s relentless expansion of its primary smelting capacity. Now China’s momentum has come to a halt, EU smelters are closing down thanks to record high energy costs, and buyers in Europe and the US are paying record high prices for the physical metal.
As we‘ve mentioned, London Metal Exchange stocks are plummeting as gaps start to appear in the supply chain. Now we’re seeing trading levels we haven’t experienced since 2008’s infamous bull market. On the bright side, none of this is slowing the entire sector’s dramatic worldwide dash towards green low-carbon aluminium.
The Anglo-Australian mining company Rio Tinto goes green
Rio Tinto is set to invest in ‘large scale’ wind and solar in Queensland, planning to power its aluminium operations in the Gladstone area region sustainably. They’re keen to receive proposals to hit green energy targets for its Boyne smelter, Yarwun alumina refinery, and Queensland Alumina refinery. It’s all part of the company’s ambitious climate change targets.
The aim is to get the new green energy sources working by 2030. As Queensland’s biggest user of energy Rio has a vital role to play in developing renewable energy to help meet the state’s own renewables targets. The group intends to meet its climate change target of halving emissions by the end of the decade, and reach net zero emissions status by 2050.
India’s Vedanta aluminium smelter goes green
India’s Vedanta Aluminium ‘substantially reduced’ the emissions from its biggest smelter by about 12% during the 2021-22 fiscal year, while increasing production volume by 20%. On World Environment Day they committed to reducing their emissions intensity by 25% by 2030 as part of a tough ongoing climate action plan.
Ford set to invest in green aluminium and steel
Ford Motor Company is joining the First Movers Coalition global initiative, a group focused on using existing purchasing power and supply chains to create markets for clean energy tech innovation. They’ll be targeting the environmental impact of their supply chain by investing in green steel and aluminium, joining more than 50 companies across five continents who have already become involved in the Coalition’s fight to bring zero-carbon technologies to market.
As part of the deal, Ford has agreed to buy at least 10% near-zero carbon steel and aluminium by 2030. This is just part of a wider plan to meet carbon neutrality globally across all of its operations and products by 2050, with tough ‘science based’ interim targets planned for 2035.
Aluminium from ‘abandoned aircraft’ finds a new use
Waste not, want not. It’s good to see the metal we sell so much of being transformed into something precious. The Mumbai based jewellery brand Moksh is combining recycled aluminium from old, dumped aircraft with gold and diamonds to create a new, sustainable collection called ‘Shourai’, which translates as ‘the future’ in Japanese. The waste aluminium is converted into delicate cubes which are then embellished with gold and diamonds to create ‘sharp’ geometric jewellery designs.
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