Impact of COVID-19 on Aluminum Market : Implications on Business

Aluminum Market

Aluminum is one of the abundant metals found in the earth’s crust. In terms of weight, it accounts for nearly 8% of the earth’s crust. Wide availability and numerous properties of aluminum make it a widely used metal across the world. Aluminum is used in various applications such as packaging, household products, electronics, and transportation. It possesses several properties such as high conductivity, ease of recycling, and corrosion resistance; however, aluminum carries drawbacks such as moderate tensile strength and moderate machinability. This limits its direct usage in various end-user industries.

global aluminum market

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Implementation of stringent greenhouse gases (GHG) and carbon emission norms, rise in focus on usage of hard but lightweight aluminum alloys for manufacture of vehicle durable components, and low toxic emission are some of the factors driving the demand for aluminum. Aluminum is an ideal substitute for materials such as steel and iron, primarily due to its lower self-weight and high strength properties. Prices of aluminum fluctuate primarily due to its application in several end-user industries.

Factors affecting end-user industries indirectly hamper the demand for aluminum, leading to fluctuations in its prices. However, growth in the usage of aluminum alloys in several industries is ascribed to the different properties instilled in pure aluminum by alloying elements. Alloying elements such as copper, silicon, zinc, and magnesium improve properties of aluminum such as high temperature sustainability, high tensile strength, and high fatigue strength. This is anticipated to drive the aluminum market during the forecast period.

The global aluminum market has been segmented based on product form, manufacturing process, and application. Different product forms considered under the scope of the study include flat products, long products, forged products, cast products, and others. Based on manufacturing process, the market has been divided into rolling, extrusion, forging, casting, and others.


In terms of application, the aluminum market has been segregated into aerospace & defense, automotive, building & construction, electrical & electronics, foils & packaging, industrial machinery, and others. The automotive segment has been further classified into power train, chassis & suspension, and body components, while the building & construction segment has been split into internal, external, and structural. The foils & packaging segment has been segregated into beverage cans, bottles & containers, aerosol cans, foil wraps, medical packaging, and others.

Automobile is considered one of the important industries driving the global economy. It is experiencing a gradual recovery from economic crisis in developed regions. However, demand for automobiles has been rising significantly in Asia Pacific. This increase in demand for automobiles has boosted fuel consumption, thereby propelling the demand for crude petroleum. Additionally, increase in fuel prices across the globe is expected to drive the need for lightweight vehicles. Decrease in weight of vehicles results in better economy of fuel usage. Currently, automobile manufacturers are focusing on lowering the overall weight of vehicles. Aluminum alloys are predominantly used as better substitutes for steel frames of the vehicle body.

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They help reduce the body weight of the vehicle substantially without compromising on strength and other aspects such as the weight carrying capacity. Aluminum alloys are considerably lighter than conventional steel; this significantly lowers the body weight of automobiles. In turn, this assures better fuel economy, less pollution, and higher efficiency. This is anticipated to increase the demand for aluminum during the forecast period.

Rise in urbanization and industrialization across the globe is boosting the demand for aluminum. The global construction industry is gaining momentum after a moderate contraction in developed regions. Aluminum and aluminum alloys are key materials used in the building & construction industry. Substantial growth in the construction industry is anticipated to augment the need for better materials with high durability & strength, and low-self weight. This, in turn, is estimated to fuel the demand for aluminum and its alloys in the construction industry.

Based on geography, the global aluminum market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific was the leading region of the aluminum market in 2017. Consumption of aluminum is concentrated predominantly in electronics production hubs such as China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan; and in the construction industry in developing economies in the region. However, the automotive industry is likely to offer higher growth potential for the aluminum market in Asia Pacific. Led by the U.S., demand for aluminum in North America is projected to rise during the forecast period, particularly in industries such as automotive and aerospace & defense.

Aluminum Market: Key Players

Key players operating in the aluminum market are expected to benefit from the formation of strategic alliances with global players. Prominent players functioning in the aluminum market include Alcoa Corporation, Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (CHALCO), Norsk Hydro ASA, RUSAL, Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC, and RioTinto.

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