The global economy is just peachy, honest. From Joe Deaux at bloomberg.com:
Alcoa cutting back on aluminum making is sign of regime change
Prices for metal tumbled 27 percent in past year on LME
Alcoa Inc.’s latest aluminum-making cutback is signaling the end of the iconic American industry.
For 127 years, the New York-based company has been churning out the lightweight metal used in everything from beverage cans to airplanes, once making it a symbol of U.S. industrial might. Now, with prices languishing near six-year lows, it’s wiping out almost a third of domestic operating capacity, Harbor Intelligence estimates. If prices don’t recover, the researcher predicts almost all U.S. smelting plants will close by next year.
While that’s a big deal for the U.S. industry and the people it employs, it doesn’t mean much for global supplies. Alcoa’s decision to eliminate 503,000 metric tons of smelting capacity accounts for about 31 percent of the U.S. total for primary aluminum, but less than one percent of the global total, according to Harbor. For more than a decade, output has been moving to where it’s cheaper to produce: Russia, the Middle East and China. A global glut has driven prices down by 27 percent in the past year, rendering American operations unprofitable and accelerating the pace of the industry’s demise.
To continue reading: US Aluminum Industry Collapses Under China’s Weight