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Russia proposes creating aluminum OPEC: Trade Minister

[via Reuters]

February 28, 2017 - Russia is proposing the creation of an OPEC-like organization for the global aluminum industry, TASS news agency quoted Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov as saying on Monday.

Russia's Rusal was overtaken by China's Hongqiao as the world's biggest aluminum producer several years ago, as Rusal cut back its production capacity due to a fall in prices.

Manturov told reporters about the idea of an aluminum-making group on the sidelines of an economic conference in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi.

OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, unites some of the world's largest oil producers. Its members, together with non-OPEC oil producers such as Russia, agreed to reduce oil production and support global prices in 2016.

"It is currently at the stage of a proposal," Manturov told reporters.

"At the first stage" of creating such an organization for aluminum, participation of officials such as industry ministers "would be enough".

"What is more important is that all governments, which are the main producers and exporters of primary aluminum, agree on principles of single policy in the area of standards and technology," the minister said.

Rusal, controlled by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, was not available for immediate comment. Shareholders include trading giant Glencore and Russian businessmen Viktor Vekselberg and Mikhail Prokhorov.

Rusal's 2016 production rose one percent year-on-year to 3.685 million tonnes and is expected remain stable in 2017.

Prices for aluminum, used in transport and packaging, have risen 12 percent in London since the start of 2017. The metal closed 0.85 percent up at $1,901 a ton on Monday.

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