Aluminum Prices (Q1 2022)
In March 2022, in China, the price of aluminum was 22640 RMB/ton. Secondary or recycled aluminum makes for a sizable portion of worldwide aluminum usage. Due to its cost-effectiveness, scrap from automobiles, equipment, beverage cans, and machinery was recycled and reused. Reprocessing secondary metal or trash uses a fraction of the energy necessary to produce new metal from mining, resulting in less environmental damage. In addition, measures such as the creation of automobile disassembly and shredding factories, as well as depollution centres, aided market expansion. Furthermore, widespread usage of the metal in the transportation industry was boosted the aluminum demand even further.
Since the beginning of 2022, the price of European aluminium has risen by roughly 15%, surpassing its historic high of October 2021 - an increase of more than 60% compared to January 2021. Because energy accounts for a large share of production costs, more than a third, a fast increase in the price of gas has a significant influence on company profitability, particularly in Europe, where natural gas prices have climbed by about 550% from December 2020 to December 2021.
As a result, European aluminium manufacturers are forced to make a difficult decision. Either they shut down their smelters or they cut back on production, even if it means losing money. This is the option selected by Europe's largest smelter at the end of December 2021. The price of the metal on LME was 3300 USD/MT in January 2022.
Aluminum Prices (Q4 2021)
China had begun to reduce its aluminum production in 2021 and instead chose to import large volumes which not only created a global shortage of the metal but also increased the prices for the commodity. In November 2021, an aluminum factory in Yunnan, China suffered a major explosion. This led to a complete halt to production in the region, reducing the production capacity by 300,000 tonnes which impacted the already suffering market supply.
In most European countries, the energy prices had been increasing significantly in the last quarter of 2021 making the metal’s production highly expensive in the region. In Germany, the average EPEX market price was recorded at 220 USD per megawatt hour which had almost doubled from last year. In France, it had been tripled to close to 300 USD per megawatt hour. This surge in energy prices pushed the major smelters to cut down their productions. The Aluminum Dunkerque in France, a major producer of aluminum slab and ingots had reduced its production capacity by 3.7% as compared to previous year. Romanian producers, like Alro, also commentated that aluminum production had been unsustainable in the final quarter of 2021.
In 2021, the US was the largest importer of aluminum. The prices had been soaring high in the final quarter 2934 USD/MT as compared to the 2004 USD/MT in the first quarter of the year. Prices are likely to increase in the upcoming times owing to the supply shortages, the shift towards greener economy, the reduction of carbon emissions in China and the rising demand from the automotive industry for electric vehicles. The high prices of energy sources are also key growth drivers in the aluminum market.
In Brazil, Alcoa, a major producer of the metal, declared to resume its plant production activities in Sao Luis, Alumar with a plant capacity of 260,000 tonnes per year to keep up with the changing global scenario for the aluminum market. The plant is resuming operations in spite of the hydro-electric problems in Brazil owing to the drought. This increase in production and supply of aluminum is likely to impact the market soon. In the final quarter of 2021, the prices were 14.64k BRL/MT.
Aluminum Prices (Q1-Q3 2021)
The production of the metal in China during the first quarter was 6.3 % higher as compared to the previous year. The demand for the metal is being pushed by the shift towards a greener economy and its demand and consumption are expected to go up in the upcoming years. However, at the same time in China, the carbon emissions were recorded at 420 million tonnes in 2020, which was then capped at 45 million tonnes for 2021 which means that Beijing will witness a change in its supply forms and switch to secondary supply like metal scraps which may generate a market uncertainty. Other issues are the energy cap imposed on smelters and workers due to the coal shortage. The production plateaued in certain regions which increased the prices along with a growing consumption as more and more people shift towards electric vehicles.
Due to the supply deficit, the prices had been increasing in Europe. Due to excessive Chinese imports, the supply gap for aluminum was widened as the market was undersupplied by 480,000 tonnes of the metal and this shortage is likely to continue in the upcoming years, as reported by major financial or manufacturing firms like Alcoa, ING and Dutch Multinational. The energy shift towards renewable sources has been a major growth driver for the aluminum industry.
The prices witnessed a three-year high in 2021 in the US. Production had been booming in China. The market was tight amidst supply concerns. In the meantime supply concerns were rising with the increasing demand for manufactured goods. Prices in London Metal Exchange were as high as 2535 USD/MT in the second quarter of 2021. The Chinese imports for the metal had increased by 36% in April 2021, which led to the price flare.
Aluminum Prices Overview 2020
In the first half of the year, price of the metal China had dropped but started to recover slowly after March. From 2234 USD/MT in the beginning of the year, the prices plummeted to 1791 USD/MT in March which continued till July, as demands came down due to the shutting down of industries in the first quarter owing to the pandemic. In July, the price rose again to 2217 USD/MT and dropped to 2188 USD/MT in September. The prices started to rise again in October and surpassed 2500 USD/MT. By December, the prices in China had reached 2617 USD/MT, the highest in 2020. The Chinese production witnessed record high values at close to 37 million tonnes of production.
The falling demand for the metal due to the pandemic caused the prices to fall steadily in the first half of 2020. The global economy had slowed down as most industries like automobile, aerospace and construction had been hit critically by the lockdowns which resulted a slump in its global consumption and demand. The Norwegian aluminum producer Norsk Hydro reported that the primary global consumption had fallen by 9.41% in the first half of 2020. The production however, at the same time, had been steady with a surplus in the market. Nevertheless, the economies started to expand after the lockdowns were lifted and demand and prices were on the rise in the third and final quarters of 2020.
The average price in the US in 2020 was 1704 USD/MT. The demand had plunged in the first half of 2020 as a result of shutting down of industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Economic slowdown and a surplus supply caused the prices to decline further. The aluminum LME (London Metal Exchange) prices in the beginning of 2020 were 1772 USD/MT which went down to 1602 USD/MT in the first half of the year. This price slump continued till July. However, prices started to recover in August and by October the prices had exceeded 1800 USD/MT. In November the prices went up to 2000 USD/MT and the highest price in the year, 2051 USD/MT, was recorded in the first week of December. The demand for the metal had risen as production activities resumed all around the world.
In Brazil, the prices were affected not just by the pandemic and overproduction, but also by the shutdown of four production lines of Albras due to an electrical fire. In Venezuela, the aluminum market was crippled due to the absence of a commercial vision, the dropping value of Bolivar exchange rate against USD, infrastructure problems along with political instability in spite of having immense hydroelectric power and modern alumina refinery and bauxite supplies.
Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Aluminum. Each price database is tied to a user-friendly graphing tool dating back to 2014, which provides a range of functionalities: configuration of price series over user defined time period; comparison of product movements across countries; customisation of price currencies and unit; extraction of price data as excel files to be used offline.
Procurement Resource provides prices of Aluminum for several regions around the globe, which are as follows:
Aluminium or aluminum, as a metal, is derived from aluminum-containing minerals. Small amounts of Aluminum can be easily found in dissolved water. It is light in weight and silvery-white in appearance. Main ore of Aluminum is bauxite. The metal is highly reactive in nature and finds application in a wide range of industries.
Aluminum's production process is carried out by combining two processes, namely, the Bayer process and the Hall-Heroult process. The bauxite ore is processed into alumina by utilising these two processes and finally, the obtained alumina is converted into Aluminum.
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The displayed pricing data is derived through weighted average purchase price, including contract and spot transactions at the specified locations unless otherwise stated. The information provided comes from the compilation and processing of commercial data officially reported for each nation (i.e. government agencies, external trade bodies, and industry publications).