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Aluminium ranks number two in the consumption among all metals, exceeding steel. Demand for aluminium will continue to increase in future. Industries demanding aluminium for end use applications, Aluminium as a substitute for power industry, and as a propellent for solid rocket booster motor in space shuttles due to its high volumetric energy density acts as an opportunity for market growth.
Aluminium is available in various shapes like ingots, plates, sheets & foils, and cables & wires. Sheets and foils are ultimate market for aluminium. Aluminium is an electronegative metal, which holds affinity for oxygen. It is 6th most ductile and 2nd most malleable metal present on earth. It is extremely light having 2.7g/cc density, holds high degree of conductivity after copper and is ease to alloy with different metals to improve mechanical properties.
Production of aluminium is done from alumina (Pure aluminium oxide), extracted from bauxite by refining process. Pure aluminium after extraction is collected and prepared molten aluminium using the process called smelting. Once the liquid metal is collected it is transferred to casting house, where liquid metal is purified and casted to various specified shapes as per the requirement.
Rising investments in automobile industry adopts the utilization of aluminium products leading to market growth. In Europe region majorly Germany and France are dominating due to increasing number of aircrafts made by lightweight materials.
In 2019, primary aluminium production in Europe remained flat after a slightly negative year in 2018. This flat production continued its pressure on supply chain of aluminium by global trade issues and high energy prices in Europe. EU28 countries still import approximately 50% of its aluminium product requirements. As a part of European economic area, Norway and Iceland are the largest exporters of primary aluminium of EU.
In 2019, the EU exported around 1.1 million tonnes of aluminium scrap. About 80% of this is exported to Asia. European aluminium statistics showed mixed demand of semi-fabricated products. After several years of robust growth, in 2019, European demand or flat rolled products (FRP) was marginally positive. FRP demand growth was driven by packaging and transport, which represents more than 60% of the FRP demand.
Europe aluminium casting market is segmented on the basis process, source, application and end-user. In Europe, the non-expendable mould casting segment is increasing in the Germany region because the maximum automotive parts have been manufactured majorly through the high pressure die casting.
Aluminium is largely consumed by automotive industry, as it has been most feasible for the end use requirements. Since the global pandemic outbreak, the prices of aluminium have fallen by 21% in the initial time of lockdown, as the global aluminium market witnesses weakening demand from the key end-user industries.
In April 2019, European Aluminium released its Vision 2050, it says, the European Union is well advanced in reaching its objective of cutting its domestic GHG emissions by at least 40% by 2030, and by 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.
The global demand for primary aluminium is expected to increase by 50% by 2050 reaching 107.8 million tonnes. European demand for primary aluminium will be about 9 million tonnes per year up to 2050. The European demand in 2050 will be met by almost equal shares of primary and recycled aluminium production. Production of primary aluminium is expected to meet 25% of the demand by 2050, providing adequate supportive policies for the industry. Total CO2 emissions from primary production would fall by around 60% and 70% by 2050 compared to 2014 figures.
It is a known fact that aluminium is a material with permanent characteristics, it can be recycled infinitely without losing is parent properties, which secures sustainable use. As a part of vision 2050, industries are striving for 100% recycling of aluminium from all segments with the top priority as closing the loop. Currently EU secures recycling rates of 90% in transport and building and more than 60% in packaging.
The consumption of aluminium in manufacturing o aircraft by Europe and US is likely to jump a healthy growth in future. The replacement of current aircrafts with new and fuel-efficient materials impetus to aluminium market growth. Automotive industry is major consumer of aluminium material which is looking for lightweight material for better fuel efficiency. With these future upgrading, industries expect quality and perfect supply chain process for timely receiving of materials.
In September 2020, Norsk Hydro ASA (Norway) opened an aluminium research lab in Sweden to test new aluminium alloys for their use in innovative and sustainable products.
In May 2018, Alcoa Corporation and Rio Tinto undertook the world’s first carbon free aluminium smelting process as a part of their joint venture, Elysis.
Europe is anticipated to be the second principal market. The region’s aluminium market trends are estimated to see steady evolution throughout the forecast period 2020-2027. Major companies contributing in Europe are:
In spite of these companies, Europe has many organizations focussing on manufacturing of aluminium according to required shapes like extruded aluminium, aluminium powders, etc., Travar S.P.A. is specialized in producing aluminium and aluminium alloy wires and bars for mechanical and electrical appliances.
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