China’s biggest aluminum producers agreed to cut output by as much as 10% in response to power shortages, Bloomberg reported. The reduction in supply caused metal prices to rise to their highest price ever, hitting US$3,380 a ton on the London Metal Exchange. Aluminum Corp of China and 19 other firms, which together account for 70% of the country’s total output, agreed to cut output by 5-10%. This means supply could be reduced by as much as 400,000 tons in the second half of the year. In a week, Chinese aluminum smelters use the equivalent of a year’s worth of power for 2 million people. China is in its sixth year of power shortages.
For more on the challenges faced by China’s power industry, see the cover story in our June issue.