Moscow, October 27, 2020 – RUSAL (SEHK: 486; Moscow Exchange: RUAL), a leading global aluminum producer, announces its operating results for the third quarter of 2020 (“3Q20”)
• aluminum production in 3Q20 totaled 939 thousand tonnes (+1.3% quarter-on-quarter (“QoQ”)), with Siberian smelters representing 93% of total aluminum output;
• In 3Q20, aluminum sales amounted to 1,008 thousand tonnes (up 3.3% QoQ). During this period, sales of value added products (VAP) increased by 25.4% QoQ, to 455 thousand tonnes, demonstrating a recovery of VAP share in total sales mix to 45% in 3Q20, compared to 37% in 2Q20, that was then affected by external market drivers related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
• In 3Q20 the Company continued to successfully adjust its regional sales geography in line with existing markets conditions. While the European destination decreased in share to 37% (vs 46% in 2Q20), Asia’s and Russia&CIS’s sales grew to 32% (vs 27% in 2Q20) and 24% (vs 20% in 2Q20) respectively;
• In 3Q20, the average aluminum realized price increased by 6.5% QoQ to USD1,762/t. The increase was driven both by the London Metal Exchange (“LME”) QP component (+6.0% QoQ to USD 1,618/t) and average realized premium component (+12.5% QoQ to 144/t). The increase of realized premium during 3Q20 is attributed to the growth of the VAP share in product sales mix and a positive shift in VAP upcharge, reflecting the gradual recovery of the global market conditions.
• In 3Q20, total alumina production slightly increased by 0.4% QoQ, to 2,018 thousand tonnes. The Company’s Russian operations accounted for 35% of total output.
Bauxite and nepheline ore
• In 3Q20, bauxite production decreased by 1.6% QoQ, to 3,829 thousand tonnes. This decline of output was a result of unfavorable weather conditions in Guinea and Jamaica. Nepheline production increased by 2.9% QoQ, to 1,214 thousand tonnes.
• As of the end of 9M 2020, global business recovery demonstrates positive trends, exceeding previous expectations and forecasts. As reported by J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI, global manufacturing activity rose to a 25-month high of 52.3 in September, up from 51.8 in August. New order intakes grew at the fastest rate for almost two and a half years, export business expanded for the first time in over two years and business sentiment hit the highest level since May 2018. Manufacturing expansion in Brazil, India, Germany, Canada and Australia hit record highs of above the 55.0 level. This upswing trend continued for several months across all regions, signaling stabilized operating conditions. Given the unprecedented high current PMI levels we expect the industry to normalize through 2021.
• In 9M 2020, the global aluminum demand was down by 2.6% YoY to 46.7 million tonnes, improving from 6.6% decline YoY during 1H2020. The Rest of the World (“RoW”) demand contracted by 11.1% to 18.6 million tonnes, China however offset this with robust demand, demonstrating a strong growth of 3.9% to 28.1 million tonnes.
• Global aluminum production in 9M 2020 grew by 1.5% to 48.4 million tonnes, taking into account the RoW decline of 0.1% YoY to 20.9 million tonnes and the 2.8% growth YoY in China, to 27.5 million tonnes. Overall, the global market was in surplus of 1.7 million tonnes during 9M 2020.
• Operating capacity in China exceeded 38.0 million tonnes. Chinese unwrought aluminum and products exports collapsed by 18.6% YoY to 3.6 million tonnes in 9m 2020, while unwrought aluminum import during 9M 2020 amounted to 892 thousand tonnes vs 57 thousand tonnes for the same period of 2019. This shift followed a strongly negative export price arbitrage and the reduced demand overseas due to the pandemic. Thus, China is becoming an important balancing force for global aluminum industry absorbing excessive supply from the RoW markets.
• In 9M 2020, aluminum inventories at LME warehouses declined by 22 thousand tonnes to 1.45 million tonnes. LME live warrants increased to the level of 1.20 million tonnes. Chinese regional stocks were moving in a downward trend over the period April – September and fell by 1.0 million tonnes to a total of 0.66 million tonnes from its highest level this year of 1.68 million tonnes marked at the beginning of April 2020.