Aluminium plate supplier special – 2022 aluminium supply and prices
At Metalex we sell an awful lot of aluminium. This time we’re delving into the aluminium sector. At one end China’s covid outbreaks are affecting supplies and pricing. At the other end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to supply worries and prices are already on the up. Over in the UK we’ve started building the nation’s biggest ever aluminium packaging plant. And at Metalex we’re selling more aluminium than ever before.
On the bright side Norway’s aluminium smelters are heading towards CO2 capture and better sustainability, and Morgan has released a new version of its legendary sports car, a masterpiece in aluminium. Welcome to our metal supply world.
Aluminium and copper prices soar on Ukraine invasion
The escalating war in Ukraine has sent the prices of aluminium and copper soaring to record highs thanks to fears around supply. The London Metal Exchange has raised its margin requirements for aluminium and nickel contracts in response to the news.
Energy prices are also predicted to rocket because of the conflict, which itself will exert more pressure on metal prices. Some say the wholesale cost of aluminium could soon break all records.
At the same time the share price of Russia’s top aluminium producer, Rusal, has taken a dramatic downturn. But according to some experts the US and EU won’t impose blanket sanctions on Rusal because it would “worsen aluminium shortages, propel prices to new records and damage manufacturing.”
Construction kicks off for the UK’s biggest aluminium packaging plant
Packaging News reports on the formal launch of the construction process for the Ball Corporation’s new Northamptonshire plant. The facility will be the biggest ever drinks packaging plant in the UK and it’ll be completed in early 2023. The plant, which covers 56,000 square metres, will initially produce more than a billion fully recyclable cans and create 200 local jobs, with room for future expansion planned into the build.
Covid outbreaks worsen Chinese aluminium deficit
Covid outbreaks in Southern China have led to more disruptions to supply, adding extra fuel to the rally in alumina and aluminium prices. The Guangxi autonomous region is suffering an unexpected covid surge and the nation’s zero covid strategy has meant a series of dramatic lockdowns and shutdowns. Most of the cases are in the Baise city, which also happens to be the centre of the region’s alumina and aluminium production.
Experts say the usual 500ktpa capacity might not return to normal at all during 2022 thanks to a tricky landscape of rising alumina prices, an upward trend in aluminium prices, and spot alumina prices that have already shot up by almost 16% this year.
Norway’s sustainable aluminium smelters
Norway based sustainable industry company Hydro is going hell for leather to achieve decarbonisation with a £14.7m investment and minority ownership in the CO2 capture company Verdox. The idea is it’ll help them capture CO2 emissions from their aluminium smelters.
The collaboration kicked off in 2021 and the two businesses have already tested Verdox’s tech to capture gas from Hydro’s aluminium smelters. Next the tech needs to be tested at a Hydro aluminium smelter, with a goal to hit ‘industrial scale’ CO2 capture by the year 2030.
Morgan’s wholly aluminium sports car
It took to the road in 1909 and it was an instant hit. The Morgan three wheeler sports car, with one driven wheel at the back and two at the front for stability, has always been popular. Ten years ago the design enjoyed a resurgence and the contemporary 3 wheeler Morgan arrived, an icon fondly described as a “spirited little machine.” The last petrol-powered model came off the production line in Malvern during 2021. Now she’s back.
Meet the Super 3, an all-aluminium ‘monocoque’, which means the various loads are all cleverly borne by the car’s structural skin. The look is pure retro-steampunk-scifi and the design is bold and ‘beautifully detailed’, customisable in a multitude of ways and enhanced to a very high standard. You can even buy matching ‘driving outfits’.
The new model incorporates Morgan’s first digital dashboard, which actually looks more 1960s than modern and has a distinct fighter jet look about it. A powerful 1.5L Ford engine and an incredibly light body complete the picture. The cost? Buy your own £41,995 upwards. You can find out more on Morgan’s website.
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