Aluminum Market Outlook: Shifting Application Scope, A Step Towards Successful Growth

Published On : March 2018

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Aluminum market:

Aluminum is one of the most widely used metal on account of its applications specific properties and abundance. It is the third most abundant element on the mother earth after oxygen and silicone. The red-brown sand called bauxite is the primary source of aluminum. The very first successful attempt to manufacture aluminum metal was done in 1824, which resulted in the formation of a tin-like metal. The initial applications of aluminum metal, during the 19th century, influenced day to day life of people. Eyeglass frames, optical instruments, tools, utensils, and even jewelry were among the most popular uses of this metal during that period. The major milestone was attained when it was found that aluminum makes an excellent alloy with other earth metal. This widened its application scope to flexible bands, sheets, wire, and foils, among others. By this time, the human race explored the great potential of this metal and it was during the world war I (1914-1918) this metal was being used on a mass scale, chiefly in aircraft frames. During the second half of the 20th century and the initial decade of 21st century, the scope of aluminum application expanded at exponential speed and penetrated so deep into the vast number of applications that it is hard to imagine the metal industry without aluminum. As a result of this, the global production of aluminum has grown from meager 6,800 metric ton in 1900 to mammoth 50 million metric ton in 2013.


Rising demand for major applications and diverse consumption base: The propellant


The prominent applications of aluminum can be found in transportation, building & construction, machinery & equipment, electrical, consumer goods, packaging and foils among others. Among these aforementioned applications, the building & construction is the leading application accounting for the largest market share of around 30%, as of 2017. Rapidly increasing construction activities and significant developments on part of innovation and research in modern constructions are likely to favor the growth of the market during the years to follow. Additionally with the rise in government spending in infrastructure activities is set to uplift market growth over the next six years. The transportation industry closely follows building & construction application. The wide scope of applications for aluminum in the transportation industry is attributed to rising demand for lightweight material to manufacture automotive parts. Growing consumer sentiments in favor of environmental concerns are expected to boost demand for aluminum in manufacturing lightweight, fuel efficient, and electric vehicles. Moreover, the aluminum is swiftly replacing steel in numerous end uses such as automotive, machinery, and electronics, among others. Collectively, the diverse consumer base and vast application scope for aluminum are propelling the growth of the market.


Regional outlook: China is the bright the spot and anticipated to persist


The global market is spanned across five major regions: Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. The Asia Pacific is the largest and the fastest growing regions among them due to the presence of major end users such as building & construction, transportation, and consumer goods among others. China, India, Japan, and South Korea are the major markets in this region. China is the engine of the growth in Asia Pacific region with the rising demand from the transportation sector. Apart from this, the packaging and machinery & tools applications are growing at a considerable rate. Moreover, a steady rise in the exports since the last few years is observed on the backdrop of currency devaluation and low production cost, which are driving the growth of the market in China.


Competition scenario: considerable number of tier 1 companies adopting strategic measures to garner sizeable revenue


As per our analysis, the market consists of several leading players, which are enjoying a considerable share of the global market. some of the prominent manufacturers are operating in the market are Alcoa Corporation (U.S.), Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. (Canada), RUSAL (Cyprus), Norsk Hydro ASA (Norway), DUBAL (U.A.E), Aluminum Bahrain (Alba) (Bahrain), Century Aluminum Company (U.S.), Vedanta Ltd. (India), China Aluminum Corporation (China), Rino Tinto Australia (Australia), China Hongqiao (China), and BHP Billiton Aluminum Australia Pty Ltd. (Australia) among others. Major players holding over half of the overall production of Rio Tinto Alcan Inc., BHP Billiton Aluminum Australia Pty Ltd., Rino Tinto Australia, China Aluminum Corporation, Vedanta Ltd. These companies are adopting various business tactics such as capacity expansion, modernization of existing plants, and resumption of fallow plants in order to retain their dominance in coming years.