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Russian Aluminum on the Way
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United Company RUSAL of Russia, the world's largest producer of aluminum and alumina, said yesterday it is preparing to export electrolytic aluminum to China from 2009.


Peter Finnimore, aluminum sales director of UC RUSAL, said: "We are looking to the broad prospect of China's aluminum industry, which is expected to continue with the developing momentum in the years to come, largely driven by the country's robust economic growth."


Finnimore said UC RUSAL expects to export an average of 200,000 to 300,000 tons of electrical aluminum to China per year from 2009. The Russian aluminum giant is also showing keen interest to establish cooperation with China's domestic aluminum companies, such as Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd (Chalco), the largest domestic aluminum producer, and other local aluminum companies.


Analysts said China's fast growing economy is the major driver behind the development of the non-ferrous industry.


"Anticipation of China's growing demand in the years to come is the major factor attracting foreign players to be engaged in China's market," said Liu Minda, an analyst of non-ferrous metals at Huatai Securities.


Industry analysts said the current domestic market is expected to have an oversupply this year, with a total of 75,000 tons of aluminum exceeding the aggregate domestic demand. But the market equilibrium could change quite abruptly because of latent demand from the construction and manufacturing sectors.


According to Antaike, the leading information provider in the non-ferrous metals industry, the total domestic output of electrolytic aluminum is expected to reach 11.7 million tons this year. The aggregate demand of electrolytic aluminum is estimated at around 10.8 million tons.


United Company RUSAL is the global leader in the aluminum industry, accounting for approximately 12.5 percent of aluminum and 16 percent of the world's alumina production.


(China Daily August 31, 2007)

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