Alcoa’s chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld and UC Rusal’s CEO Oleg Deripaska, are both optimistic for the future of the global aluminium industry.

According to Kleinfeld, demand for aluminium increased by 10% last year and was up 7% this year. He argued that physical demand was growing and that growth was being fuelled by demand for full-body lightweight cars and planes.

Kleinfeld accepted that a lot of major players were experiencing difficulties but that the market was now balanced.

Where China was concerned, he said the country lacked the resources to be a major player on the aluminium production market. Chinese smelters use coal for energy and lack bauxite and energy reserves, he said.

Oleg Deripaska of Rusal urged Europe to weaken the Euro, claiming it was the only way out of the current debt crisis. He believes that consumption of aluminium will increase long-term and that the industry will be more efficient when it emerges from its current crisis.