Russian aluminum producer Rusal saw consumer demand decline to 20-30pc of its usual levels after returning from the COVID-19 shutdown.
Its major customers—the auto and aviation industries—suffered major setbacks because of the pandemic, which severely reduced their demand levels. According to media reports, the company is expecting Q2 2020 to be worse than Q4 2008 during the Great Recession, but Rusal hopes to see some improvement during Q3 and Q4 2020.
The firm has, however, successfully increased its supplies to industries that were less impacted by the pandemic, like food, packaging, cans, and foils.
Europe accounted for 50pc of Rusal’s total sales, and with the continent gradually reopening its economies, as well as resuming exports to China, the company expects some of its demand to recover. While it does not expect to attain pre-pandemic levels this year, Rusal is optimistic about the next two years, it said in a statement.
In 2019, Rusal produced 3.8mn mt of aluminium.