2022 Global Aluminum Industry Research Report


The aluminum industry is an industry that produces and sells aluminum products. Aluminum (Aluminium) is a metal element, and the most abundant metal element in the earth’s crust. Among all metal varieties, aluminum output ranks the third just behind steel and iron globally. It has special chemical and physical properties. It is not only light in weight and strong in texture, but also has good ductility, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, heat resistance and nuclear radiation resistance. It is an important raw material for economic development in many countries and areas.

For past five decades, aluminum has became one of the most widely used metals in the world. Especially in the construction, transportation and packaging industry; the aluminum consumption of these three major industries generally takes for about 60% of the total annual consumption.

In the construction industry, due to the its stability and the excellent appearance after anodizing, aluminum is getting more and more popular in constructions, especially in aluminum alloy doors and windows, aluminum-plastic pipes, decorative panels , aluminum curtain wall and other applications.

In the transportation industry, in order to reduce the weight of the vehicle itself, like motorcycles, various automobiles, trains, subways, airplanes, ships and other transportation vehicles have begun to use aluminum and aluminum alloys as components and decorative parts in large quantities. As the hardness and strength of aluminum alloy processing materials continue to increase, the proportion used in the aerospace field has begun to increase year by year.
In the packaging industry, the scope of aluminum for various flexible packaging, all-aluminum cans, various bottle caps and easy-open lids, and pharmaceutical packaging is also expanding. In other consumer fields, the usage and prospect of electronic appliances, household appliances (refrigerators, air conditioners), daily hardware, etc. are rapidly growing as well.

Global Aluminum Industry

Since the second half of 2017, the international aluminum price has risen tremendously, aluminum product manufacturers and suppliers have improved a lot, and shut-down production firms had begun to restart one after another. According to statistics from the Commodities Research Unit (CRU), the total global electrolytic aluminum production in 2018 was 63.82 million tons, which is a 0.57% increase comparing to the last year. The top 5 countries in terms of global production are China, Russia, India, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. In 2018, the output of these five countries accounted for 77.4% of the world.

The consumption of electrolytic aluminum outside China maintained a steady growth. Consumption is broken down by continent, with Asia by far the world’s leading consumer of refined aluminum, with consumption exceeding 50 million metric tons in 2020.

Europe was the second largest consumer of refined aluminum at 7.36 million metric tons that year. Except for the obvious decrease in consumption in South America, other regions have increased to varying degrees. Among them, the consumption of refined aluminum in Oceania, Europe and Asia has increased significantly, and they are the main regions that stimulate foreign consumption.

Bauxite Mining

Bauxite is the main source of aluminum in the world. The ore must first be chemically treated to produce alumina. The Bayer process is a common method for extracting bauxite. Alumina is obtained when impurities are removed from bauxite, which forms the raw material for making aluminium. Refined alumina is processed in an electrolytic process to produce liquid aluminum, which is then given different shapes and sizes.

Global bauxite resources are estimated at 55 to 75 billion tonnes, and at current mining rates these reserves will last for 250 to 340 years.

From the perspective of the distribution of global bauxite reserves, Guinea and Australia has the most of the global bauxite reserves, sharing about 44% of the total. Guinea, Australia, Vietnam, Brazil and Jamaica together accounted for 72%. According to statistics, bauxite can still be mined for about another 100 yeasrs. Generally speaking, the global supply of bauxite is sufficient, so the supply side of aluminum will not be restricted by the raw material side in the next few decades, but by the low-carbon energy side. Environmental friendly.

However, the actual output, Australia, Guinea, and Brazil is almost consistent with the proportion of reserves, while the proportion of China’s production (16%) is far greater than the proportion of China’s reserves, indicating that China’s bauxite is being overdrawn. In the next ten years, 64% of the world’s bauxite production is expected to come from Guinea, 24% from Australia, and 12% from Indonesia, so the proportion of Guinea’s bauxite production is expected to expand in the future.