As aluminium prices dropped 18% when compared with the same period in 2011, Alcoa's revenues fell by 9.4% to US$5.9bn.

While Alcoa has forecasted that demand for aluminium will grow globally by 7% in 2012, it is planning further curtailments of its smelting operations following reductions during Q2 of 390kt - the aim being to improve the competitiveness of its primary products business.

Through a restructuring programme, Alcoa is divesting under-performing assets and reducing upstream business costs in order to achieve record profits in mid-stream and downstream businesses.

Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman and CEO of Alcoa, said that while prices were down, the fundamentals of the market were sound. He said that Alcoa was capitalising on growing demand for aluminium in the aerospace and automotive industries.