Aluminium special – Rusal threats, raw aluminium market fears and more
To say it’s up and down in the world of aluminium at the moment may be a little bit of an understatement.
The energy crisis is affecting supply and demand in surprising ways; Rusal are driving uncertainty about uncertainty; Raw Aluminium orders are down in the US; ALUMINIUM is back and they are taking aluminium out of the deoderant but putting it in the packaging. Here’s the aluminium news from Metalex, your leading UK aluminium supplier.
Energy crisis affecting aluminium production and demand
Packaging Europe are reporting that the Aluminium industry is suffering under the weight of rising energy prices and we would agree with that. In the same article Rob van Gils, CEO and Managing Partner at Hammerer Aluminium Industries states that the energy crisis threatens the very existence of Aluminium companies and unfortunately its also hard to argue with that.
It always the case that our industry is affected by global events but it feels right now that global events are particularly surprising and the effect is similarly surprising.
Take Africa, where South Africa has just produced around 720,000 tonnes of the refined metal, fast becoming the biggest aluminium-producing country on the continent. Vedanta Ltd says its aluminium production increased by 2% in the second quarter of 2022. At the other end of the equation there’s been a sharply-reduced market demand for aluminium billets in Europe, leading Norsk Hydro to partially limit aluminium production at their Norwegian Hydro Karmøy and Hydro Husnes plants. Here’s the news from Metalex, your UK metals supplier.
Rusal spreads gloom and doom
Russia’s aluminium producer Rusal says doubts about using its metal means there’ll be even more volatility in the London Metal Exchange’s aluminium contracts, which will drive uncertainty about the exchange’s role. The news network Reuters saw the letter, which was sent following the world’s oldest and largest market’s announcement about a possible consultation on whether they should keep storing and trading the Russian company’s metal.
Rusal is the world’s biggest aluminium producer outside China, tipped to make 6% of global aluminium this year. They say taking their metal out of the equation could lead to “increasing market volatility due to restrictions on the pool of physical liquidity on the LME”.
Raw aluminium material orders plummet in the USA
The North American aluminium market is staggering as manufacturers of everything from cars to Coke tins delay booking their 2023 raw material orders. When producers, recyclers and product makers met at a Washington conference to discuss government policy and end markets, the mood was grim. Just a year ago the industry was enjoying its biggest boom in ten years. It just goes to show how fast things can change.
At this time of year, curiously called the ‘mating season’, aluminium buyers and sellers fix their terms for the coming year’s needs. Now uncertainty around inflation, supply chains and economic growth has left buyers too scared to act. Experts predict they’re more likely to use up current stockpiles instead of booking new deals, and any fresh deals will be delayed until things look clearer.
Today ALUMINIUM is back on course
The world’s biggest trade fair for aluminium is back, after four years and two covid cancellations. The fair, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, welcomed 720 exhibitors from more than fifty countries and broke new ground by focusing on decarbonisation and sustainability. The sector is going through unprecedented transformation and is facing fundamental change. The companies exhibiting at the show were keen to reveal their latest low-carbon products and innovations.
Smelling great without aluminium
There’s been an ongoing movement to remove aluminium from deodorants, fuelled by public demand. Now the ‘deodorants without aluminium’ market is predicted to grow by around 9.1% from 2022 to 2029, reaching a whopping US$ 1.5 billion in 2022. A rising demand for ‘natural’ products is driving the change.
Sainsbury’s adopts aluminium and knocks plastic on the head
Coffee pods, usually made of plastic, are littering landfill sites. Now Sainsbury’s is leading the change. The chain says its entire own-brand coffee pod range will be packaged in aluminium, so can be recycled at home. They reckon it’ll mean ten million fewer bits of plastic a year will end up in landfill.
Need aluminium? Not a problem!
So what are we doing as the aluminium scene rolls this way and that? We keep calm, and we carry on and we continue to carry the aluminium stock you need. Walk this way for 2014 aluminium plate, 2024 aluminium plate, 5083 tooling plate, 6061 aluminium flat bar or anything else from our extensive aluminium stock. We’ll do you a fair Metalex deal despite the madness.
THE LATEST FROM THE BLOG