Alcoa posts earnings for Q3 2022

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ASX-listed mining company Alumina today presented Alcoa Corp’s financial results for the third quarter of 2022, with additional information on the Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC) joint venture. 

Mike Ferraro, chief executive of Alumina, said AWAC, like many other commodity producers globally, continued to experience increasing pressures in Q3, including higher gas and caustic soda prices. 

“Production costs were also impacted by system stability issues at our Western Australian refineries,” Ferraro added. 

AWAC pulled back productivity at the San Ciprian refinery to approximately 50 per cent of capacity in response to the higher energy prices in Europe, according to the Alumina CEO. 

“The business continues to review commercial options, operating levels and other support options for the San Ciprian refinery.”

He also mentioned plans to improve the performance of the Western Australian refineries, including an uplift in volumes and addressing maintenance and stability issues. 

Experts estimate that approximately 40 per cent of the alumina producers outside China are making a loss with the current alumina process. 

The ongoing cost pressures, combined with smelter restarts in the Americas and the expected winter supply rationing in China, provide support for alumina prices, Ferraro said. 

“Despite the current market conditions, AWAC’s portfolio remains a first-quartile producer globally. We continue to believe the medium and long-term outlook for the alumina market is positive, with the anticipated growth in aluminium metal consumption driven by de-carbonisation.”