Rusal's Aluminum Output Down 11% in 2009

The world's largest aluminum producer expects upturn in 2010.

Russian metals giant Rusal cut its annual aluminum output by 11% in 2009 but could increase it this year, the company said in its full year production results on Feb. 22.

The world's largest aluminum producer reduced its total aluminum output to 3.9 million tons, compared to 4.4 million tons in 2008, the report said, calling 2009 "one of the toughest years on record for the global economy."

In the same period, the company slashed its alumina production by 36% and bauxite production by 41%.

The company predicted an upturn in 2010, saying in a statement that if demand grows as forecast, it plans to produce 3% more aluminum and 7% more alumina than in 2009.

The economic crisis has left Rusal billions of dollars in debt, which the company has been in complex talks with its creditor banks to restructure.

The heavily-indebted company, whose majority shareholder is Oleg Deripaska, last month listed on the Hong Kong and Paris bourses. It was the first Russian company to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Earlier this month Rusal announced that it had paid Russian and international creditors $2.14 billion from the proceeds of its share listings on the Hong Kong and Paris stock exchanges.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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