Sigma slices aluminum scrap imports

Nov 09, 2010 | 12:03 PM |

Sigma Metals Inc., China's largest secondary aluminum smelter, has slashed the proportion of scrap it sources from outside China, according to Tony Huang, Sigma's chairman and chief executive officer.

The company, traditionally one of China's biggest importers of aluminum scrap, this year has been buying around 40 percent of its scrap from the domestic market—up from about 10 to 20 percent previously—to take advantage of lower prices.

"Sigma's strength is in international procurement, but we've been able to buy scrap much cheaper domestically," Huang said.

The need for lower-cost raw material has been underlined by falling margins on the company's alloy ingot sales as aluminum prices in China have tracked below international levels. "Demand is okay, but prices are no good. It's much cheaper than the international market," Huang said. "We're a big-name brand so we can sell at a premium over the competition, and that's the only reason we've kept alive (in the past year)."....

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