Future remains grim for alumina, economist says

WESTPAC chief economist Bill Evans says he doesn't hold any great hopes for the alumina industry, with low commodity prices set to continue.

Speaking at the GEA Major Industry Conference in Gladstone on Thursday, Mr Evans said the future for the industry appeared grim.

More than 3000 people work in the sector in Gladstone.

The sector has been hit by low commodity prices in recent years, leading to hundreds of job cuts.

Mr Evans said prices were unlikely to rise in the foreseeable future.

"The problem with alumina is that it's affected by excess supply," the ABC reported.

"The demand overall I would argue would be lifting, but the supply story of alumina is still quite scary."

Earlier this week Boyne Smelters Ltd general manager Joe Rea said the aluminium industry was going through unprecedented tough times.

"The headwinds we face competing on a world scale are as bad as it's ever been," he said.

"In fact it's 20% worse than the GFC and 40% worse than the long-term average for aluminium pricing."