Following a period of extraordinary rainfall and concerns that the rain had led to spills from the 6.3-Mtpa Alunorte refinery complex, Brazilian authorities ordered the refinery to halve output. Prior to this event, the spot alumina price was in decline. A modest deficit in the Atlantic was fully offset by a surplus in the Pacific market, making the World ex-China region essentially balanced. The order to cut output means the Atlantic market lost about 280 kt of supply in March. Companies impacted by this will be scrambling to arrange time swaps and short-term sales. Prices will rise only modestly, as long as the market perceives this to be a short-term event.