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Chalco raises alumina price amid tight supply
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Alumina Corp of China Ltd, the nation's largest alumina producer, raised its spot alumina price by 10.53 percent yesterday, the second rise in a month as supply tightens.


The price has risen to 4,200 yuan (US$569) per ton from 3,800 yuan, the Beijing-based company, commonly known as Chalco, announced on its website.


Current cash prices of imported alumina, used by smelters to produce aluminum, at Chinese ports including insurance and freight, are above US$470 per ton, Chalco said.


"Alumina supplies on both international and domestic markets are tight," it added. Chalco raised price to 3,800 yuan a ton from 3,500 yuan on November 27.


Analysts attributed the price rise to increasing demand and some disruptions in alumina refineries. Chalco's smaller domestic competitors have also raised prices.


Chalco shares closed 2.31 percent lower at HK$15.26 (US$1.95) in Hong Kong after hitting a low of HK$14.66 yesterday. It was up 0.28 percent to close at 36.3 yuan (US$4.90) in Shanghai trading.


Separately, Chinalco, the state parent of Chalco, said the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission had approved its strategy to diversify into more non-aluminum businesses including copper and rare earths such as molybdenum and titanium.


The move could boost its structure and competitiveness and is in line with the development of a global company.


It's also in line with the government's efforts to concentrate capital and resources into vital industries, Chinalco said.


(Shanghai Daily December 19, 2007)

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