BEIJING, Aug. 26 -- China's top aluminum producer Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (Chalco)incurred losses of 3.52 billion yuan in the first half of this year, compared with profits of 2.39 billion yuan in the same period last year, due to faltering prices of aluminum products, according to the company's half-year performance report released Tuesday.
Meanwhile Chalco's operating turnover reached 27.98 billion yuan in the January-June period, down 11.69 billion yuan or 29.44 percent from the year earlier period.
Despite the huge losses in the first half, the company's performance had been improving in the past three quarters along with the recovering aluminum prices. Its net losses had decreased from 2.57 billion yuan in the fourth quarter of last year to 1.89 billion yuan in the first quarter this year.
Chalco said that its bad performance in the first half was attributed to the global financial crisis as well as the periodical valley of the aluminum market, admitting that its production and operation are facing unprecedented pressure and challenge.
By the end of June, its operating rate of alumina was only 66.9 percent and that of electrolytic aluminum stood at 83.4 percent, which directly led to sharp fall of its output.
The company produced 3.2 million tons of alumina in the first half, down 31.6 percent year on year, but its raw aluminum and aluminum product output came to 1.61 million tons and 190,000 tons, respectively, up 5.9 percent and 110.1 percent.
However, Chalco's sales-output ratio was still high in the January-June period, with its sales ratio of alumina products and raw aluminum respectively approaching 100 percent and 107 percent. Its stocks value by the end of June went down two billion yuan from the year's beginning.
Chalco believes that aluminum prices will rise in the second half with the recovering economy.
But some analysts still hold unoptimistic outlook for Chalco's performance in the full year of 2009.
Yue Yukun, an analyst with BOC International Ltd., predicted that the aluminum producer will incur losses of three billion yuan this year as aluminum prices can hardly go upward under the pressure of overcapacity.
The following is a table showing the main business indicators for the first half of 2009 of Shanghai-listed Aluminum Corporation of China Limited:
Note: The figure in brackets refers to "net profit after deduction of non-current gains and losses".