US-based flat-rolled aluminium producer JW Aluminum has planned to close its St. Louis, Missouri foil plant operations on May 30, 2020.
Increased import of low-priced aluminium foils originating from China have eroded JW Aluminum’s market share, said the company in the release announcing the plant closure. Aluminum foil imports into the US have increased from less than a per cent in 2004 to “almost a quarter of the market”, said the company’s statement supported by “China’s unfair trade practices”.
Subsidised production of aluminium in China has led to an overcapacity of aluminum and aluminum products which has increased China’s exports. Despite the tariffs and duties on aluminum imports, low-priced Chinese aluminium products imported into the US have managed to disrupt the US domestic market, squeezing producers margins significantly.
JW Aluminum had acquired the St. Louis plant from Alcoa, in 2004. The company has three other facilities: Mount Holly, South Carolina; Russellville, Arkansas and Williamsport, Pennsylvania. JW has been continuously expanding its Carolina facility and has announced a phase 2 expansion plan for this facility. The facility is JW’s largest aluminium operations with an annual production capacity of 230-240mn lbs. The company has a total annual production capacity of 360mn lbs, according to local media.