UPDATE 1-Alcoa to cut capacity at two aluminum smelters in Brazil

viernes 28 de marzo de 2014 10:03 GYT

* To cut 147,000 metric tons of capacity at Brazil smelters

* Aluminum prices rise 1.5 pct to $1,763.25/ton on LME (Adds details, graphic, aluminum prices)

March 28 (Reuters) - Alcoa Inc, the biggest U.S. aluminum producer, said it would cut 147,000 metric tons of capacity at two aluminum smelters in Brazil as increased costs and low prices have made the plants uncompetitive.

Benchmark aluminum prices rose about 1.5 percent to a session high of $1,763.25 per ton on the London Metal Exchange on Friday, after Alcoa's announcement.

Many companies, including the world's biggest aluminum producer Rusal and rival Rio Tinto Ltd, have shut loss-making plants as Chinese supplies flood the market and energy costs rise.

The price of aluminum - used in the aerospace, construction and automotive sectors - has fallen about 37 percent since May 2011, when it touched a high of $2,800 per tonne.

Alcoa said last month that it would close its 50-year-old Point Henry aluminum smelter and two rolling mills in Australia.

The company's smelting capacity cuts were deeper than the 460,000 metric tons it placed under review last May.   Continuación...