The Brazilian Aluminum Association (ABAL) has just announced the primary aluminum production for the first quarter of 2013. According to ABAL, the aluminum production for the period totaled 339.3 thousand tons, which indicates a decrease of 6.8% compared to the volume of 364.1 thousand tons produced in the same period last year.
This plunge in production reflects the effort of primary aluminum plants to manage their operations, since the newly-announced power exemption, which, although deemed to be a breakthrough, has not yet reached a level that helps retrieve competitive operating costs, particularly for producers supplied by the free market.
Therefore, companies have brought their furnace maintenance scheduling forward, and carried out technical fine-tuning in their facilities, as a means to prevent from a permanent shutdown of their operations.
In any case, the industry has secured domestic supply, by assigning part of the volume that would be exported to the domestic market. In the period January-March 2013 the exports for primary aluminum and alloys decreased 10.3%, from 141,000 tons to 126,400 tons.