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The Bitter End? The Rise And Demise Of The South American Aluminum Industry

But for a variety of reasons, the decline in aluminum output has been rapid and dramatic. A recent Reuters article states that according to International Aluminum Institute numbers, February’s regional run-rate was the equivalent to 1.33 million metric tons per year. A year ago it was 1.80 million. At its peak in 2008, it was 2.70 million tons. South America was once a major exporter of metal to world markets.

In 1994 Brazil was the third-largest and Venezuela the fourth-largest source of aluminum imports into the United States. Now, both countries import. Werecently wrote about the state of the Venezuelan aluminum sector. Chronic underinvestment due to the gradual bankrupting of the once-buoyant Venezuelan economy has left the country’s two smelters a shadow of their former selves. Read more