July 28 (Reuters) - Russian aluminium giant Rusal on Thursday reported a 5 percent rise in half-year aluminium sales volumes from a year ago, mainly due to the start-up of its Boguchansky smelter, but the average sale price slid 24 percent.
The world no.2 aluminium producer’s sales rose to 1.915 million tonnes in the half year to June, compared with 1.823 million tonnes a year earlier, with the Boguchansky smelter in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region operating in test mode.
The average realised price slumped to $1,688 per tonne in the first half of 2016, against $2,212 a year earlier, as London Metal Exchange prices fell.
However, Rusal said prices were improving, thanks to a growing metal deficit, especially in China, “strong” global manufacturing growth and improved investor sentiment towards base metals.
“June’s PMI (purchasing managers index) data offers more evidence that global manufacturing output and wider industrial production activity is improving,” Rusal said in its quarterly production report.
Second-quarter production inched up 0.3 percent to 919,000 tonnes from the first quarter of this year, Rusal said. (Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Ed Davies)