MOSCOW, Feb 17, 2011 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- United Co Rusal PLC (0486.HK) will concentrate this year on capturing a share of the Chinese market, but increasing aluminum sales in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States are more important for the company, an executive with the Russian aluminum company said Thursday.
"China will become a net aluminum importer this year, and our main aim is capturing the Chinese market, especially as most of Rusal's smelters are comparatively near the Chinese border," Rusal's Russia and CIS supply director Sergey Belsky told the 16th annual CIS Metals Summit in Moscow.
"But Russia's market is more important to us at present. Business in Russia and the CIS is more profitable because 70% of our sales there are value-added products, not just raw aluminum," Belsky added.
"Rusal intends to increase its sales in Russia and the CIS this year by 22% on the year to 928,000 metric tons. Sales in 2012 are planned at 1 million tons. Of total sales 90% will be in Russia, the rest in other CIS states," Belsky said.
Rusal is concerned about rising aluminum imports, which the company sees as an impediment to its own increasing sales.
Russia's aluminum imports are increasing by 1%-2% a year, Belsky said. Even during the recent international financial crisis imports kept rising at a steady rate.
Belsky said that as one of the ways to stem the growing imports, Rusal is lobbying the government to adopt legislation limiting purchases by the military of metal products produced outside Russia.