By Staff Report via Aluminum Insider | Dec 28, 2018

Atlanta’s rolled and recycled aluminium firm Novelis Inc. has seen few short-term negative effects of the Trump administration’s blanket tariffs on aluminium, according to company execs. However, the firm still plans to petition the government for exclusions on certain cross-border aluminium shipments.

Company execs told local media in upstate New York that the biggest impact to the firm was the tariffs assessed against the one-third of its aluminium shipped in from Canada.

“In the near term it wouldn’t have a huge impact on the business,” explained CEO Steven Fisher to MSNBC this spring. “Unfortunately with a higher tariff that’s going to mean higher prices to our customers and end consumers.”

Fiona Bell, Novelis’ Director of Communications and Government Affairs for North America, said that the company continues to see a significant call for aluminium in several major sectors.

“Novelis is experiencing strong demand for high-strength, lightweight aluminum from our customers across the automotive, beverage can and specialties markets. As a result, our team in Oswego recently achieved several records in production while maintaining safe and efficient operations.

“Novelis is seeing a limited impact from the import tariffs on metal crossing the border into the U.S. and to offset this, we have applied for product exclusions from the Department of Commerce.”

Despite tariffs making supplies from its northern neighbors more expensive than usual, Novelis’ plant in Scriba turned in record-breaking numbers in October.

“We just finished a $10 million upgrade to one of our recycling facilities,” explained Plant Manager Kevin Shutt. In addition, the Scriba plant is planning to upgrade operations with a US$13.5-million exhaust system in the near future.

“Automotive demand is very strong,” he continued. “Right now we are in a great position, we have more sales than we have capacity, so every pound that we can produce we can sell.”

Novelis is a subsidiary of Mumbai’s Hindalco Industries Ltd. Based in Atlanta, the firm accounts for almost half of Hindalco’s consolidated revenue. The world’s largest recycler of aluminium, Novelis conducts operations in ten different countries, employs around eleven thousand people, and reported US$10 billion in revenue for the most recent fiscal year.