Economics of aluminum

European aluminum industry


The European Committee for Standardization aluminum products – Committee CEN / TC 132 – It bases its work on the existing state of affairs in the European aluminum industry. The following briefly presents the situation in the European aluminum industry 2011 year, which is set out in the business plan of CEN / TC Committee 132 (2013).

aluminum Company

At present, four major international aluminum producers and aluminum products in Europe are:

  • Alcoa;
  • Constellium;
  • VAW and
  • Hydro.

Reorganization of enterprises for the production of aluminum semi-finished products is an absolute achievement in recent years in Europe. Moreover, seen increasing specialization of enterprises. It is expanding the production of semi-finished aluminum ingots, which enter their Africa, Middle East and Asia.

Primary and secondary aluminum

In 2010 the world production of primary aluminum reached 40 million tons. This occurred against the background reduce primary aluminum production in North America and Europe. Primary aluminum production almost disappeared in Japan. In the same time, Primary aluminum production is growing rapidly in China, thanks to the growth in domestic consumption. Australia and Brazil were among the major "players" in this business.

As for the secondary aluminum - aluminum, obtained from aluminum scrap - the, for it is a favorable growth in consumption in the automotive industry sector. In the same time, It continues to leak large amounts of aluminum scrap from Europe, which leads to loss of internal resources of the European.

Aluminum: Global and Local

Only a few global companies (BHP Billiton, RIO TINTO) dominate the aluminum industry from mining to finished aluminum products. In the manufacture of finished products is currently dominated by specialized companies of medium and small quantities. In general, the global aluminum market is controlled by a few companies. Recycling aluminum scrap develops while at the local level due to the specific collection of aluminum scrap. Nonetheless, the trend of globalization can be seen in the field of secondary aluminum - recycling aluminum scrap.

Aluminum prices

Aluminum price is the prerogative of the London Metal Exchange (LME). Aluminum prices are subject to speculation on the international level. Aluminum price is also influenced by energy prices. From 2008 year, aluminum prices have undergone several upheavals. In 2009 the average price of aluminum was 40 % below, than in 2008 year. In 2010 the average price of aluminum has risen to 1600 euro, that was the starting point for the stabilization of prices in 2011 year. Prices for primary aluminum grade A7 shown in Table 1.

The world price for aluminum A7 2008-2011 years

Aluminum production and consumption

Of the total volume of deliveries of aluminum raw materials in Europe in the number of 12,5 million tons 35 % European producers were melted primary aluminum, 30 % imported and 34 % They were recycled from scrap European enterprises.

China remains the largest consumer of primary aluminum in the world. Europe and North America also continue to be the key regions of primary aluminum consumption. In Europe, 2010 year were more engaged in the aluminum industry 255 thousands of people.

Production of aluminum semi-finished products in Europe (2010)

Aluminum plants in Europe (2010)

aluminum consumption in European industry

Aluminum production in Europe

Primary aluminum consumption in the world 2009-2012 years

Minor comments to the tables above.

Extrusion presses for Aluminum Extrusion

We see, that operate in Europe about 300 enterprises producing extruded aluminum products, that is, extruded aluminum rods, bands, pipes, profiles. About quantity extrusion presses not reported, but I suppose, that they are not less 600. It is known, that only in Germany and Italy more, than 100 presses in each. In North America - the United States and Canada - there are more than 200 plants for aluminum pressing and more 500 extrusion presses.

Secondary aluminum castings and castings

Ratio own secondary aluminum is about 35 % of the total aluminum consumption. Recycling aluminum scrap secondary aluminum engaged 160 enterprises (refiners). It is a specialized enterprise, having the equipment for sorting scrap, special melting furnaces for melting it and complex exhaust gas cleaning systems.

Near 2400 foundries (casters) - small and medium - use this recycled aluminum, for example, in pigs, for the production of aluminum castings, which are widely used, in particular, in the automotive industry. They use conventional melting furnace and a variety of equipment for the production of aluminum castings.


Buisness Plan, CEN/TC 132 Aluminium and aluminium alloys