Coronavirus restricting alumina supply, smelting impact still unclear: Alcoa
Within the aluminum supply chain, the coronavirus outbreak has had the most visible impact on alumina supply, but the effect on aluminum smelting is not yet fully evident, Alcoa CEO Roy Harvey said. Bauxite shipments into Chinese ports have continued as normal, but transport of the bauxite from the ports to inland refineries have faced disruptions due to issues related to the virus outbreak, Harvey told participants at the BMO Capital Markets Global Metals & Mining Conference in Hollywood, Florida. “For the refiners, and particularly those refineries inside of China, they are starting to see real supply chain bottlenecks, whether its bauxite or caustic soda or coal gas,” Harvey said. Now, smelters will also run short of anodes if they can’t get them delivered, and they will run short of other carbon products.”. While the impact on aluminum smelting is still unclear, Harvey said he expects to see more pressure on alumina and aluminum demand.