1. The price increase pushed Norwegian Hydro's third-quarter earnings to exceed expectations. The prospects for the Alunorte refinery are unknown. Norwegian aluminum producer Norsk Hydro reported third-quarter profit on Wednesday that was much higher than expected, mainly due to rising metal prices, but the company is still unclear when its main alumina plant in Brazil will resume full production. The Reuters survey showed that this recovery was the latest turning point in environmental disputes with the Brazilian authorities for several months. The company's CEO, Svein Richard Brandtzaeg, said in a statement, "The aluminum market is currently tightening. We expect a shortage in the global primary market in 2018. We will continue to talk with the authorities to restore the full production of the Alunorte aluminum smelter. But time is still uncertain. The company's profit before interest and taxes was 2.68 billion kronor, higher than the Reuters survey's estimated 1.8 billion kronor, up from 2.4 billion kronor in the same period last year.
2. The United States will exempt certain steel and aluminum products from South Africa from customs duties. South Africa said on Wednesday that the United States has granted some local steel and aluminum producers a waiver of tariffs on some steel and aluminum products in South Africa. The South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Wednesday that the US Department of Commerce granted exemptions to 161 aluminum and 36 steel products produced by South African companies. DTI said that exempt products include aluminum foil and aluminum sheets, sheets and strips, as well as steel hot rolled bars, hot rolled sheets, cold rolled sheets, cut sheets and sheet coils. The ArcelorMittal South Africa division was exempted from certain products, and the company's stock rose 8% at 1044 GMT. The South African Ministry of Trade and Industry warned earlier that tariffs could lead to unemployment in the manufacturing and mining industries, and that the relevant authorities are still seeking US exemptions for all steel and aluminum products in South Africa. South African aluminum exports accounted for about 1.6% of total US aluminum imports.