Jamaican Alumina: A Truly Global Commodity

The answer to this question lies in another question? Who owns Jamaican alumina production? We answered that last week – Russia, United States of America and Jamaica. However, the United States, with its stringent environment rules does not allow much alumina production.

Furthermore, the sole crude bauxite producer in Jamaica ships most of its product to the United States to be processed to alumina there. Alcoa has aluminium plants all over the world (USA, Canada, Netherlands, Iceland, etc.), and as such can ship anywhere depending on the need and the cost of freight and insurance.

United Company Rusal (“UCRusal”) is the largest aluminium maker on the planet is also global but all of its aluminium producing assets are based in Russia.

That leaves Jamaica, which has historically had ties to commodities trader, Glencore AG. Glencore is the largest trader of commodities in the world and one of the largest miners of metals in the world. Jamaica through Glencore sells its alumina to the world. This is reflected in the chart below. Jamaican alumina is truly a worldwide product.

Source: Jamaica Bauxite Institute

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