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  January 6th, 2022 | Written by

Aluminum Prices Spike Up 62% and Will Continue Rallying in 2022

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IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Aluminum – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Throughout this year, global aluminum prices continuously grew and gained 62% in October 2021 compared to the same period of 2020. China’s output has decreased due to restrictions on energy usage and halted production at a 300K-ton capacity factory in Yunnan province. Consequently, the average yearly price in 2022 is projected to rise by 6% y-o-y. Despite rising prices, the U.S., the world´s largest aluminum importer, expanded its purchases by 4.5% against 2020.

Key Trends and Insights

According to the World Bank data, the average aluminum price grew from $2004 per tonne in January 2021 to $2934 per tonne in October 2021, a 62% increase from the previous October ($1806 per tonne). Next year, aluminum prices are forecast to rise by 6% y-o-y because of a high demand from the automotive industry, increased prices of energy resources and a supply shortage arising from China diminishing production to decrease СО2 emissions.

As China limits the output, it must expand imports. From January through July 2021, China purchased 1.5M tonnes of aluminum from abroad which was 52% more than the same period in 2020. In monetary terms, throughout seven months, imports surpassed $3.3B, over twice the amount during the same period in 2020 ($1.6B). In November 2021, an explosion occurred at an aluminum factory in Yunnan province. This caused a complete stop in production for the 300K-ton-capacity factory and further exacerbated the supply shortage on the market.

The U.S. is the world’s largest importer of aluminum, and it also increased purchases this year. From January through September 2021, the U.S. imported 2.9M tonnes of the metal, a 4.5% gain in volume of shipments from the same period in 2020. In monetary terms, imports grew by 47%, reaching $7.8B.

Aluminum Exports by Country

Last year, aluminum exports worldwide reached 24M tonnes, flattening from the previous year. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.5% over the past decade. In value terms, aluminum exports declined from $47.9B in 2019 to $44.7B (IndexBox estimates) in 2020.

The most significant shipments were from Canada (2.9M tonnes), Russia (2.7M tonnes), the United Arab Emirates (2.2M tonnes), India (2.1M tonnes), Malaysia (1.5M tonnes), Australia (1.4M tonnes), Norway (1.1M tonnes), Bahrain (0.8M tonnes), the Netherlands (0.7M tonnes), South Africa (0.6M tonnes), China (0.6M tonnes) and Mozambique (0.5M tonnes), together accounting for 70% of total export. Germany (488K tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

In value terms, Canada ($5.5B), the United Arab Emirates ($4.3B) and Russia ($4.2B) constituted the countries with the highest levels of exports in 2020, together accounting for 31% of global exports. These countries were followed by India, Malaysia, Norway, Australia, Bahrain, the Netherlands, China, South Africa, Germany and Mozambique, which together accounted for a further 41%.

In 2020, the average aluminum export price amounted to $1,847 per tonne, shrinking by -7.5% against the previous year. There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major exporting countries. In 2020, the country with the highest price was Norway ($2,367 per tonne), while Russia ($1,568 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

Source: IndexBox Platform