RusAl Will Shift Sales Focus to China

bloombergWorkers on the job at RusAl's Sayanogorsk Aluminum Plant. RusAl says 34 percent of sales will be in Asia by 2015.
United Company RusAl will make 34 percent of its sales in China and other Asian countries by 2015 as its focus shifts eastward, the company's sales and marketing director, Peter Finnimore, told reporters at a briefing Tuesday.

RusAl, the world's biggest aluminum producer, currently sells 45 percent of its products in Europe, 23 percent in Asia, the same fraction in Russia and the CIS, and 10 percent in the United States.

By 2015, when RusAl plans to increase its annual output by 60 percent to 6.7 million tons of aluminum, McKinsey forecasts that world demand for the metal will almost double to 65 million tons annually.

Russia, where 90 percent of RusAl's enterprises are based, and the Commonwealth of Independent States will still buy 23 percent of the company's products by 2015, but Europe's share will fall to 35 percent and the U.S. share will shrink to 8 percent, Finnimore said.

"By 2015 our sales will shift mainly to China, and also Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and we will increase our share in Japan and Korea," Finnimore said. "China's middle class is growing rapidly with the sharp rise in urbanization level, and, as a result, a rapid growth in aluminum demand."

RusAl expects Russian consumption to rise from the current 1 million tons annually to 1.5 million tons by 2015, Finnimore said.

"The aluminum price will grow well above $3,000, as the metal is undervalued," Finnimore said. UBS estimates that the price of aluminum will reach $4,400 within the next two years.

As of June 16, the price of three-month contract aluminum on the London Metals Exchange was $2,958 per ton.