LONDON – French smelter Aluminium Dunkerque has signed a deal to source feedstock alumina from commodity trader Glencore, broadening its supply chain after previously buying only from Trafigura.
The smelting firm has also signed a new deal to sell aluminium to Glencore, already a customer for its metal.
The multi-year contracts, effective from 2023, come at a time of disruptions to exports of commodities such as alumina after Russia invaded Ukraine, a major producer.
“These arrangements will increase the diversity of our counterparties at a time of considerable market volatility,”
said Aluminium Dunkerque CEO Guillaume de Goÿs.
Aluminium Dunkerque, acquired by private equity firm American Industrial Partners (AIP) last year, did not give further details of the deals.
All prior arrangements between Aluminium Dunkerque and Glencore have been cancelled, it said, adding that the agreements with Glencore are “consistent” with existing customer commitments.
Major customers of Aluminium Dunkerque include France-based Constellium, with sales into Europe’s auto and beverage can industries.
The alumina deal with Trafigura, signed when Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance bought the smelter from Rio Tinto in 2008 for $500-million, expires at the end of 2022, industry sources said.
They said Aluminium Dunkerque would be looking for other companies to supply alumina and buy its aluminium.
Aluminium Dunkerque has also agreed a non-exclusive multi-year credit facility with Glencore, which will allow it to hedge aluminium prices with the trader.
The smelter has the capacity to produce 286,000 tonnes of aluminium a year and annual turnover of about $800-million.