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The Aluminium Market: More Demand, Higher Prices

According to another evaluation at this year’s “Metallfrühstück”, the annual meeting of experts on the premises of Trimet Aluminium AG, Essen, the “three-month average price” will simultaneously increase in the face of growing shortages in the market, and probably level off at 2700 USD/t. They added that aluminium is significantly undervalued in the market at the present time in comparison with other materials. The participants all agreed that the planned increases in capacity for the production of primary and secondary aluminium would not restrict the expected upturn in prices. It was also agreed that the automobile manufacturers, the booming solar energy industry, and a more stable construction industry were responsible for the revival. One focus of this year’s “Metallfrühstück” was on the future market developments in the Middle East. According to expert opinion, the manufacturers there will increasingly enter processing by 2015 and extend the value-added chain right up to finished aluminium products. For example, the capacities of pressing plants in the Middle East, which are currently at 400 000 t/a, are reportedly going to be expanded to over 500 000 t/a. The capacities of rolling mills will be expanded from 400 000 to 1 400 000 t/a. At the same time, the production rate of primary smelting works will increase by over 40 %t to around 5 Mt/a by 2015; the share in the global production of aluminium will rise from 8 to 12 %, according to the opinion of experts. After the recent heavy decline in aluminium production in China the opinion is that, with increasing demand and low stocks, there will be a shortfall in provision and therefore further price increases. The experts who made their presentations at Trimet predicted undersupply for China for 2011 to 2015. As a result, China will probably become the market-defining net importer for aluminium. With a capacity of 300 000 t/a of primary aluminium, TRIMET ALUMINIUM AG is the largest producer of aluminium in Germany. The company employs approximately 1700 workers at six sites in Germany and markets, produces, recycles, and casts customized alloys and die-cast components from a single source; in the 2009/2010 financial year, annual turnover was at EUR 870,7 million. (02/2011)

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