More than 200 international
aluminum industry executives are expected to gather at
AMMs third annual Aluminum Summit in New York,
where they can gain insights into the industry and take
advantage of networking and business opportunities.
The June 20-21 event at the
Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel offers a chance to get
both a North American and a global perspective on the industry.
(To learn more or register, visit amm.com.)
The summit comes at a
challenging time for many. Aluminum prices are diverging, with
the London Metal Exchange price, stymied by economic pressures,
heading in one direction, while the premium price, propelled by
the tons of material trapped in warehouses, goes in the
opposite direction. The split has divided the industry into
winners and losers, where once there were just winners.
And while demand seems to be a
shining light for the industry, especially in the automotive
sector, primary and secondary producers likely will see their
profits erode as production costs continue to rise.
The Aluminum Summit offers
industry leaders the opportunity to come together and address
these concerns. Executives and analysts from every step along
the supply chain will consider strategies for easing the
pressures, dealing with various price mechanisms, managing
costs and identifying opportunities.
Scheduled key conference
Economic and pricing outlook:
Examining the financial health of the industry and
understanding how trends in LME and premium pricing affect
Production challenges and
developments: Looking at how to squeeze the best out of primary
production, considering where the changing upstream priorities
are going, discovering what challenges downstream producers
face and discussing the latest technological innovations in
smelter automation and energy reduction.
Tackling the pressures in
secondary aluminum: Investigating whether the outlook is
getting better on the secondary side and how developments in
scrap processing and collection can improve efficiency.
The industrys global
reach: Analyzing whether Chinas thirst for aluminum will
prove to be an opportunity for U.S. companies and looking at
developments in other regions of the world.
End-user outlook and discussion
forums: Analyzing the worries and priorities of both buyers and
sellers of aluminum products within the automotive, aerospace,
packaging and construction sectors.
Last years Aluminum Summit
provided some interesting takes on where 2012 and early 2013
were heading. Industry leaders predicted last June that
slowdowns in Europe and China wouldnt significantly
damage the U.S. aluminum sector in 2012, which would remain
relatively robust in terms of both physical demand and regional
premiums despite sometimes-weak LME prices.
We touch a lot of the very
basic markets in the United States, and ... our experience
supports the belief that there is strong demand in the
U.S., Layle K. Kip Smith, president and chief
executive officer of Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp., said in a
2012 roundtable discussion.
My optimism is founded
first on the strength of our demand, Smith said, citing a
pickup in the Franklin, Tenn.-based aluminum producers
2012 first-quarter results amid rebounding domestic demand.
Typically, we have a seasonal uptick in demand. If
anything, we saw the seasonal uptick start sooner in our key
market segments (in the United States).
The United States also was a
strong spot for Montreal-based Rio Tinto Alcan Inc., said Jean
Simon, president of primary metals. The U.S. is quite
resilient. ... If you look at the last six months, the growth
in the economy is much better than anybody might have
expected, he said. There are some signals (the
growth) might slow down a bit, but were still confident
in the U.S. economy. Growth will continue, but maybe at a
slower pace. ... What we have seen is quite positive. Demand is
quite strong, even if the price is not where wed like it
Smith agreed. Im
more optimistic about demand in the U.S. than price, he
said. What we have seen with the sovereign debt crisis in
Europe and also with the slowdown in China, this has
(encouraged) the global investment community to go less into
the risky assets.
Weak physical demand in Europe
and the soft landing of the Chinese economy
didnt help global sentiment, either, Smith said.
Nonetheless, Rio Tinto Alcan
remained slightly upbeat in the mid-term, even on a worldwide
scale, Simon said. Globally, if we look at the next six
to 12 months, we are confident but cautious.
Oliver Bell, executive vice
president of rolled products at Oslo, Norway-based Norsk Hydro
ASA, agreed, noting that while aluminum demand had slowed in
Europe, real buying was still taking place. I believe the
customer has worked down their inventory to a level which is
sustainable. So every order thats coming is really
fulfilling demand. In general, we have all reasons to be
Whether those viewpoints still
hold or have changed significantly over the past 12 months will
be a topic for discussion at the 2013 Aluminum Summit.
Key scheduled speakers at this
years Aluminum Summit include:
Aboud, president, Hydro Aluminum Metals USA.
al Attar, executive vice president, marketing and sales, Dubai
Aluminium Ltd. (Dubal), Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Brebner, head of metals research, Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt,
Carpenter, senior manager, raw material procurement, supplier
management, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Seattle.
Daum, vice president of sustainability, Can Manufacturers
Jeffrey Henderson, director of marketing and business
development, Sapa Extrusions North America, Chicago.
Horter, president, Alexin LLC, Bluffton, Ind.
Itskov, deputy chief executive officer, director of procurement
and logistics, United Co. Rusal, Moscow.
Johnsen, director, systems engineering, United Airlines Inc.,
Lehmann, vice president of procurement for the Americas, Aleris
International Inc., Cleveland.
Lorentzen, chief executive officer, Golden Aluminum Inc., Fort
Martens, president and chief executive officer, Novelis Inc.,
Moore, president, All Raw Materials Consulting LLC, East
Murray, chief executive officer, Aluminium Bahrain BSC (Alba),
Laurent Musy, president, specialty sheet, Constellium,
Peterson, vice president, marketing and corporate affairs, Ball
Corp., Broomfield, Colo.
Pickup, director of business operations, Airbus Americas,
William Portnoy, president, Charleston Aluminum LLC, Gaston,
Chester Roush, chief commercial officer, JW Aluminum Co., Mount
Schabel, chief executive officer, Alexandria Industries,
Torbjrn Sternsj, chief executive officer, Sapa
Chalco Aluminium Products (Chongqing) Co. Ltd., Chongqing,
Tautscher, Realcar project leader materials engineering,
engineering technical services, Jaguar Land Rover.
Zimm, principal, ICF International Inc., Fairfax, Va.