Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 9th February 2012.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the economic viability of the UK aluminium industry; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mark Prisk Mark Prisk The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

holding answer 7 February 2012

We have made no such assessment. Aluminium is a globally traded commodity with prices set on the London Metal Exchange. Current depressed market conditions have impacted on the global price of metals, including aluminium, which in turn has created a difficult commercial environment for the UK aluminium industry.

The Government recognise that the aluminium industry plays an important role in the manufacturing supply chain with high technology industries like aerospace, automotive and construction requiring high value—continually improving—aluminium products. The Government are taking action to support manufacturing, including the aluminium industry, through their encouragement of higher levels of innovation, exports, business investment and technical skills as well as cutting excessive red tape.

In addition, UK Trade & Investment has a programme of support for the UK manufacturing sector, including materials, in partnership with numerous stakeholders. This includes organising UK groups at overseas trade shows, leading targeted trade missions and bringing potential buyers, investors and decision-makers to the UK to see our manufacturing capability first-hand.

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