October 28, 2015 / 1:29 AM / 4 years ago

Rusal keeps Q3 aluminium production steady in face of price slump

MELBOURNE, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Russia’s United Company Rusal Plc held its aluminium output steady in the third quarter and reaffirmed it was reviewing some of its operations, as global prices droop to six-year lows.

The world’s top aluminium producer churned out 916,000 tonnes in the third quarter, up 1 percent on the prior quarter. For the first three quarters, production edged up by 1.4 percent to 2.7 million tonnes.

Aluminium prices have slumped 20 percent this year on the London Metal Exchange to below $1,500 a tonne, levels last seen after the 2008-2009 financial crisis, as growing appetite for the metal used in aerospace and automotives is eclipsed by increased exports from China.

Rusal, insulated by a weaker ruble, said sales prices were down by 13 percent on the previous quarter.

The supply glut is stoking trade tensions. The U.S. Aluminum Association asked U.S. authorities to investigate allegations of misclassification of Chinese aluminium exports in September.

In Shanghai, prices have struck successive record lows this month and are expected to fall further, reflecting lower input costs and a reluctance by regional governments to shutter capacity that provides jobs and contributes to economic growth.

Rusal reiterated its April guidance that it is considering further aluminium capacity production cuts of some 200,000 tonnes.

Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin

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