It said aluminium production was expected to grow 2% in 2011, roughly steady with 2010’s 3% rise to 4.08Mt, with higher output seen at its Siberian smelters.

“Growth in aluminium demand in regions other than China is expected to be strong, indicating that Western markets appear to have rebounded positively from the financial crisis,” Rusal CEO Oleg Deripaska said.

Global demand for aluminium will increase 8% to 43.8Mt in 2011 said Rusal, which accounted for 10% of primary production in 2009. The increase with higher output seen at its Siberian smelters was roughly steady with last year’s 3% rise to 4.08Mt.

It cited its higher volumes for 2010 to the restart of its idled smelters, which included the Krasnoyarsk and Novokuznetsk smelters in Russia and Kubal in Sweden. Potline 5 at its Irkutsk aluminum smelter in Russia, which was commissioned in April 2010, had reached full capacity by end-June and operated at full capacity throughout the September and December quarters, Rusal said.

Expected higher output at Rusal’s Siberian smelters and the restart of the Windalco-Kirkvine Works Plant from July, would help lift production this year, it said.

Rusal also said it would increase production of alumina by 8% this year after output also rose 8% to 7.8Mt in 2010.

It forecast aluminium consumption in China to increase by 12% to reach 18.5Mt and that, medium term, China would increase its aluminium imports.

It also forecast a ‘strong’ rebound in North American aluminium consumption in 2011 and a year-on-year growth of 4.5% in 2011 to 5.4Mt, a 4% year-on-year growth in the Japanese market to 1.98Mt, and a 2% year-on-year growth in Western Europe to 6.2Mt 2011, largely supported by increased economic activity in Germany.

The company forecast aluminium prices to remain above $2500/t in 2011 and for premiums to be in the range of $180-195/t in the European Union, $110-120/t in Japan and $130-150/t in the US.

“2010 witnessed the recovery of global aluminium consumption to levels above even the most optimistic forecasts of experts,” Mr Deripaska said.

“We were able to meet the rising demand by increasing production volumes at our most economically and environmentally efficient facilities,” Mr Deripaska added.