In light of this, other companies have tightened their belts. Rio Tinto is writing down about $25 billion worth of its Alcan aluminum assets. Aluminum market leader Alcoa is shuttering its older smelters.
But analysts said cutting supply wouldn't turn the market around. They said the key to boosting prices will be an increase global demand.
"Prices aren't expected to rise until Europe, Japan and other pillars of the global economy get back on their feet, propelling global demand upward," the Journal reported.
So it looks like we'll have to wait on Europe to get its act together before we see the potlines heat up at Century.
Meanwhile, a little good commodity news for consumers: Wholesale gasoline prices took a nice tumble last week, dropping below the $3 level for the first time since January.
Gasoline futures began trading last week at nearly $3.10 a gallon; yesterday, they were trading around $2.89 a gallon.
The decline was fueled - pun intended - by increases in gas inventories as refineries come back online following spring maintenance shutdowns.
The price reprieve follows a surge in gas prices during the first quarter, which was caused in part by some of those maintenance shutdowns.
Of course, 20-cent wholesale price drops won't hit the pumps overnight - they never do. But it's good comfort to know price pressures are working the downside right now, rather than increasing our collective pain at the pump.