(Bloomberg) — Alcoa Corp. reported second-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations, with the producer boosting its forecast for aluminum shipments this year as reopening economies lift demand for everything from washing machines to beer cans.

The biggest U.S. aluminum producer reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $618 million, higher than the $599.8 million average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company expects 2021 aluminum shipments of 2.9 million to 3 million tons, up from its earlier forecast of as much as 2.8 million, according to a statement Thursday.

Aluminum traded in London is up about 27% this year, off to its best start to a year since 2008. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said last month it sees a multiyear bull market driven by aluminum’s central role in the transition to low-carbon energy sources. President Joe Biden’s infrastructure deal last month has also buoyed the outlook for U.S. demand. Alcoa also said it expects continuing inflationary pressure on raw materials and energy.

“Alcoa had an excellent second quarter and first half of the year, the strongest since our launch as an independent company in 2016,” said Alcoa Chief Executive Officer Roy Harvey.

The earnings statement was released after the close of regular trading in New York, where Alcoa shares rose 0.2% at 4:43 p.m.

(Updates with Alcoa view on inflation pressures in third paragraph)

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