Century Aluminum Hit Hard by Unprecedented Drop in Alumina Prices

Author:Suny Group

Century Aluminum Company announced results for first quarter of 2019.

In Q1 2019, the company’s shipments of primary aluminum totaled 206,451 tonnes, higher by 4% when compared with the prior quarter. The incremental production from the restarted Hawesville smelter accounted for the higher shipments. It must be noted that Century Aluminum had shipped only 199,466 tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2018. The net quarterly sales too recorded marginal rise by 1% from $486.90 million to $490 million.

The company narrowed its net loss during Q1 this year to $34.6 million. This compares with the net loss of $65 million for the fourth quarter of 2018. The adjusted net loss for the quarter stood at $66.6 million. The adjusted EBITDA loss of $44 million was mainly driven by the unprecedented fall in alumina prices. Century Aluminum reported cash position of $22.2 million at the end of Q1 ’19.

Commenting on the results, Michael A. Bless, President and Chief Executive Officer stated that the demand growth continued to remain strong, whereas the metal price has been rangebound. Meantime, alumina prices recorded significant fall from its highs. The new production expected to come online during this year may lead to further downside pressure on the index price, he said.

All the three idled potlines in Hawesville smelter reported full operation during the quarter. The company will now focus on modernizing the two lines that have been continuously producing.