A report in the Charleston Daily Mail suggests that while the industry expected Century to re-open the plant in 2012, it is now unlikely to produce metal in 2013 as a continuing glut in the global aluminium supply has pushed prices down to an all-time low of around $1,800 per ton.
Back in February 2012, says the Mail, aluminium futures were trading at $2,300 a ton when Century's CEO Michael Bless announced plans to re-open the smelter and create 320 jobs in the process. But since then, things have gone from bad to worse with China continuing to over-produce (possibly increasing output by 9% in 2013).
With Rio Tinto writing down around $25 billion of Alcan aluminium assets, Alcoa closing older smelters and UC Rusal recently announcing that it will cut back capacity by approximately 300kt per annum, the climate is not exactly ideal for re-opening a smelter.
The Wall Street Journal argues that aluminium prices won't rise until the global economy picks up. The Charleston Daily Mail says that Century won't be heating up the potlines for the foreseeable future.