London — The aluminium market risks being thrown back into turmoil after the world’s largest refinery of a key raw material was shut. Norsk Hydro said it will temporarily close the Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil because of a dispute over waste treatment. The plant was already running at just 50% capacity, and prosecutors have said it would take at least a year to meet their demands to resume full production. The stoppage will increase the scarcity of alumina — a key ingredient for producing aluminium — and raise the possibility of higher metal prices filtering through the global supply chain, which would affect manufacturers such as car makers and canned drink suppliers. The market has been tight for months due to US sanctions on Russia’s United Co Rusal. "We seem to be out of the frying pan and into the fire for alumina," said Anthony Everiss, an analyst for CRU Group. While there is no alumina contract on the London Metal Exchange (LME), the effect was clear elsewhere in the ...

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