NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 03/23/12 -- Aluminum stocks have been beaten down in recent weeks as signs of slower growth in China and Europe raised questions about the global economy and demand for their products, The Associated Press reports. Over the last month, the Global X Aluminum ETF (ALUM) has fallen roughly 7.36 percent. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Aluminum industry and provides equity research on Century Aluminum Co. (NASDAQ: CENX) and Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (NYSE: ACH). Access to the full company reports can be found at:
China last week reported its biggest trade deficit in at least 22 years as government data also showed the world's second-largest economy had the weakest January-February factory-production gain since 2009. "China is the biggest consumer of most commodities and any change in growth forecast of the country will have a bearing worldwide," said Bikash Bhalotia, a metals and mining analyst at PINC Research in Mumbai.
Australia's Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics recently forecast that alumina may average $339 a metric ton this year -- 12 percent less than in 2011, as world aluminum production slows.
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Not all of the aluminum industry remains downbeat, however. Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, forecast 7 percent growth in global aluminum demand this year and said cutbacks in production will result in a global supply deficit of 600,000 tons in 2012.
Aluminum Corporation of China Limited engages in the manufacture and distribution of alumina, primary aluminum, and aluminum fabrication products in the People's Republic of China and internationally. The company recently reported that its earnings fell 69.4% in 2011 because of higher financing costs in a tight domestic policy environment, a heavier debt burden, and higher fuel and raw-material costs.
China's aluminum industry is likely to grow at its slowest rate in more than three years in 2012, with consumption likely to rise just 5%-10%, the top executives of Chinese nonferrous metal producers said earlier this month.
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