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Jorge Vazquez, founder and managing director of Harbour Intelligence, an aluminum consulting company, said that buyers are still watching market trends, such as whether Russia, the world’s second largest aluminum producer, will continue its expensive export tax rate until next year.
Vazquez predicts that the average price of aluminum in 2022 will reach US$2570/ton, which is about 9% higher than the average price of benchmark aluminum futures traded in London so far this year. He also expects that the CME Group Aluminum Midwest transaction premium will rise to a record high of 40 cents/lb in the fourth quarter, an increase of 185% over the same period last year.
Wall Street has previously mentioned that since the beginning of last week, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup have raised their aluminum price forecasts, which are expected to reach US$3,000/ton next year, but there are also warnings and bearish voices in the market.
In addition, the Guinea coup has triggered concerns about the disruption of the bauxite supply chain in the global market. Experts in the country’s bauxite industry said that the coup is unlikely to have any major short-term impact on exports. Generally speaking, exports in September have been at the lowest point of the cycle. Any government wants to ensure that future mineral revenue and investment will not be affected.
The coup broke out in Guinea, why is Russia so nervous? Aluminum giants may reduce production by 1/3 as a result
For the whole world, it is not surprising that any military coup has occurred in chaotic Africa. Many people don’t even know where Guinea is.
However, the military coup in this small country has aroused global attention for no other reason. Guinea is rich in mineral resources, especially aluminum ore.
Because of the military coup, the country no longer exports bauxite, which has caused dissatisfaction among many countries.
In 2020, Guinea’s per capita GDP is only US$1,194. Among nearly 13 million people, 43% of the population lives below the poverty line, and 32% of the population cannot read or write.
For a country rich in mineral resources, and even many mining areas can be mined in the open-pit, this situation itself has already explained the problems of the Guinean government. This is also the reason why a large number of people took to the streets to celebrate after the coup, so that the military government The army had to be sent to ask the people to go home and work again.
While the people are celebrating the coup, Russia and other countries have called for the release of President Alpha Conte, so that Guinea can quickly restore order.
In order to prevent possible military intervention, Lieutenant Colonel Mamadi Doumbuya announced that a series of mineral export agreements signed by the previous government will continue. Mineral income is an important source of income for Guinea.
The reason why the Russian government cares about Guinea is very simple. Russia’s largest aluminum producer, Rusal, is likely to lose one-third of its production capacity due to the source of raw materials.
RUSAL’s products account for 20% of the world’s market, and 45% of the company’s raw materials come from Guinea.
Once the stable supply of bauxite in Guinea is lost, Rusal cannot find a suitable alternative source at all. Even if it can be found, the cost will rise sharply.
As one of Russia’s most important monopolies (the world’s largest aluminum company and the world’s fourth largest steel company), the safety of Rusal is enough to make the Kremlin speak out.