LONDON, Aug 02, 2011 -- U.S. domestic primary aluminum production in March was 162,000 metric tons, up 15.7% from 140,000 tons in February and up 10.9% from 146,000 tons a year earlier, according Tuesday to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The average daily U.S. primary aluminum production was 5,230 tons, 5% higher than the previous month and 11% higher than in March 2010.
Primary production for the first quarter of 2011 was 453,000 tons, up 8% from 418,000 tons in the first quarter of 2010 and up 5% from 440,000 tons in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The increase was primarily attributed to restarts of potlines at five smelters during the first quarter of the year, USGS said. These smelters were Alcoa Inc's (AA) Massena, Wenatchee and Ferndale plants, Century Aluminum's (CENX) Hawesville plant and at the operations of Ormet Corp (ORMT).
Total aluminum recovered from scrap in the U.S. in March was 260,000 tons, 9% higher than 239,000 tons the previous month and 17% higher than the 222,000 tons recovered in March 2010. Of this, 138,000 tons of aluminum was recovered from new scrap, 5% higher than the 132,000 tons recovered the previous month and the same as in March 2010.
Aluminum recovered from old scrap in the U.S. in March totaled 122,000 tons, which was 14% higher than 107,000 tons in February and 45% higher than 84,000 tons a year earlier.