Kolkata: “State-run National Aluminium Co Ltd (NALCO) expects aluminium prices to reach $2,000 a tonne by December on rising demand, boosting its operating margins,” it’s chairman, C.R. Pradhan said on Wednesday.
Aluminium prices, which fell by more than half to a low of around $1,300 a tonne earlier this year from a peak in 2008 as the economic slowdown cut into demand from auto and construction sector, is recovering helped by output cuts and reviving demand.
“Already we are having an improving trend. Yesterday it touched $1,900 per tonne, so it should go up,”, Pradhan said.
“The rise in prices should also boost operating margins to between $500 and $600 a tonne by December from $100 a tonne in the first quarter,” he said adding: “By December, the firm’s output will rise to 410,000 tonnes from 345,000 tonnes in the first quarter.”
“The company’s wage bill is also set to rise by 5-7% after it increases wages by December,” he said.
Shares in the company, which the market values at $4.5 billion, has risen 71% so far in 2009, compared with a 65% rise in the benchmark index.
NALCO shares ended 2% lower at Rs325.60 in a Mumbai market that rose 0.5%.