More cost saving for Hydro

Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro said yesterday it had ramped up its cost saving programme and saw increased global demand this year, while warning of technical delays at its new smelting plant in Qatar. Shares in Norsk Hydro fell 1.86 per cent as analysts expressed concern about a potential eight-week delay at the Qatalum smelter and noted that Norsk Hydro’s market growth estimate for the coming year is lower than guidance from US rival Alcoa. The firm said it saw aluminium demand growing about seven per cent this year, adding it expected an improved supply and demand balance. It said demand for primary aluminium increased by 19 per cent in 2010 in the world outside China.