As rising inflation unsettles domestic businesses, New Zealand’s export economy – in contrast – is on a roll. It faces its own problems, particularly with rising shipping charges, and delays in reaching markets. But, as Point of Order noted yesterday, the dairy industry is winning record prices in global markets, and other food exports are also in strong demand.
Another stand-out is aluminium, which last year spiked up 62% to $US2934 to October . In recent weeks it has strengthened again, topping $US3000.
At this level Rio Tinto, owner of the smelter at Tiwai Point, will be having second thoughts about closing it. The smelter, which employs about 600 workers (plus another 2000 indirectly), extended its electricity contract for power from Meridian’s Manapouri’s generators (said to be the cheapest electricity in smelting alumina in the world) only to 2024.
If Rio Tinto “walks”, many of its competitors might step in, if aluminium prices remain anywhere near this elevated level.Continue reading “Outlook for Tiwai smelter looks brighter as aluminium prices surge”