Alcoa Expects Chinese Demand to Jump 10% This Year

Klaus Kleinfeld
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Klaus Kleinfeld

As worldwide need for aluminum expands, demand for Alcoa products will grow 10 percent this year, with half of that coming from China, Klaus Kleinfeld, its CEO and chairman, told CNBC Friday.

Kleinfeld spoke with CNBC from the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in the former imperial capital of Russia. The gathering of CEOs throughout the world continues until Saturday.

With those numbers from China, Kleinfeld said, he’s not concerned about a slowdown in country's growth. In fact, when informally polling other business leaders about China’s prospects moving forward, Kleinfeld said the lowest number he has heard is 8 percent growth.

The continued popularity of aluminum, said Kleinfeld, is due to its many capabilities. “When you think about things like recyclability, aluminum is endlessly recyclable. Seventy-five percent of all aluminum produced on this planet is still in use today.”

As auto-makers incorporate new guidelines for lighter-weight cars, aluminum, said Kleinfeld, will be an important component.

Alcoa’s Russian interests include two plants, which produce can metal and products for the aerospace industry. Alcoa has invested $500 million in Russia and employs about 5,400 workers.

Kleinfeld, who is chair of the US-Russia Business Council, was scheduled to meet with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev and other business leaders later on Friday in an attempt to improve the business climate between the two countries.

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