Can China keep Russian aluminium smelters afloat?
It’s been more than two months since UC Rusal suspended operations at its 1.75 Mtpa Nikolaev alumina refinery in Ukraine. The subsequent Australian alumina export ban put further pressure on Rusal to secure the necessary tonnages to maintain stable output. There have been widespread concerns that the closure of the Nikolaev refinery together with a loss of shipments from QAL would severely dent the ability of Russian aluminium smelters to maintain planned metal output levels. In this insight we explore how China is keeping Rusal’s smelters going.