Feb 11, 2011 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. (AA) is banking on rising copper prices driving demand in aluminum, Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld said on Fox Business Network on Friday.
"We're seeing big time replacement going on," Kleinfeld said, citing the use of the lighter and cheaper aluminum--instead of copper--in overland powerlines in countries such as China.
He said it is "very likely" that China's lack of energy, which led to a drop in domestic aluminum production, could see its demand for the metal rise and cause prices to skyrocket. The impending launch of three aluminum exchange-traded funds will also lead to a rise in prices, he told the network.
Kleinfeld doesn't see "that much inflation" at the metals level, but said inflation on commodities and food prices is clear.
Alcoa continues to pay down debt of $8 billion and is in its target range of 33%, he said when asked whether the company is planning acquisitions or will work to pay down the debt.