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ECONOMY | 30-03-2020 18:49

Aluminium among first virus-related output reductions in Argentina

Aluar Aluminio Argentino SAIC reduces production at one of its aluminium plants, another sign that global light metal production is slowing down.

Argentine giant Aluar Aluminio Argentino SAIC has further reduced production at one of its aluminium plants amid closures related to the coronavirus pandemic, another sign that global light metal production is slowing down.

The Buenos Aires-based producer said in a statement that it is reducing production by an additional 25 percent at its Puerto Madryn plant in the south, in response to country's nationwide shutdown. Companies in core businesses can continue to operate, but must take mitigation measures, including employing as few people as possible.

Following a similar cut this month, Aluar said it had now put 50 percent of its capacity in Puerto Madryn out of business. The plant has a total capacity of 460,000 tonnes and produced 427,000 tonnes in the year to June 2019, according to the company's website.

Companies around the world have been slowing down operations as workers are ordered to stay home to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

It is unclear how much Grupo Rio Tinto and Alcoa Corp. would have to slow down production at their aluminium smelters in Quebec after the Canadian province issued guidelines this week dictating that companies should minimise their activity.

Oslo-based giant Norsk Hydro ASA had closed two of its aluminium plants in China earlier this year because of the outbreak. This month, Hydro reduced production of some finished products in Europe, and said it would temporarily shut down two recycling operations.

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by Joe Deaux, Bloomberg

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