Aluminium is one of the most widely used metals in the world, used in transportation, construction, and industrial sectors. The production and demand for aluminum have become important indicators of global economic development and growth. Due to its wide-ranging applications and increased production, aluminum pricing has become a key factor when deciding to invest in the commodity. This article aims to provide an overview of the current aluminum market and its prospects, focusing on factors influencing the pricing and the aluminum price forecast for 2023.
Table of Contents
Aluminium, classified as a non-ferrous metal, is the third most abundant element on the planet, significantly behind air and water. Metal is produced in many countries around the world. It is used in various industries, such as construction, manufacturing, and transportation. It is even used in various consumer goods, such as beverage cans and kitchenware. The production of aluminum requires enormous amounts of electrical energy and other raw materials such as bauxite, coal, and other minerals. The global demand for aluminum has steadily increased, driven primarily by rapid economic growth in China, India, and Brazil. One of the most important aspects of aluminum production is pricing, which is greatly influenced by numerous economic, political, and social factors.
Current Aluminium Prices
The Worldwide Aluminium Price is currently hovering around US$2,125 per metric ton. This represents a marked decrease from prices in the early months of 2019, which peaked at US$2,390 per metric ton in April. The main driver behind this price decline was the ongoing US-China trade war, which weakened China’s consumption demand for aluminum and reduced its import activity. These events were compounded by the overproduction of aluminum in China, as domestic producers reacted to the trade war by overproducing to take advantage of higher domestic prices.
Factors Influencing Aluminium Prices
Aluminum prices are affected by numerous economic, political, and social factors. The most prominent of these is the US-China trade war, which has had a major impact on aluminum prices due to its deep involvement in the aluminum industry. Furthermore, the global supply and demand of aluminum, global economic activity, and the availability of raw materials all significantly impact aluminum pricing. Additionally, the cost of electricity and production, fluctuating currency values, and government policies all have a role to play in the pricing of aluminum.
Global Supply and Demand
Global aluminium supply and demand determine the overall market prices of aluminium. Despite the global economic slowdown, the overall demand for aluminium is projected to grow steadily in the coming years, driven primarily by rapid economic growth in countries such as China and India and increased global infrastructure projects. In 2018, global reported aluminium production was 55 Million MT, an 8.2% increase compared to 2017. Asia was responsible for most of this production, accounting for 62.7% of global production.
Impact of the Current US-China Trade War
The US-China trade war has substantially impacted the aluminum industry due to its involvement in the aluminium production process. US tariffs on Chinese aluminum imports saw Chinese aluminum imports shrink by almost a quarter in 2018 and a further 10% at the beginning of 2019. This immediately weakened the demand for aluminium in China, causing a sharp decline in prices globally. Additionally, US tariffs on Chinese aluminium saw an increase in the production of aluminium in China, which flooded the global market and further depressed global aluminium prices.
Raw Material Cost Analysis
The production of aluminium requires increasingly larger amounts of raw materials, such as bauxite, coal, and other minerals. Therefore, fluctuations in the cost of these raw materials can harm aluminium production costs. Additionally, the cost of electricity and production, as well as labor and transportation costs, can have a significant impact on the production costs of aluminium.
Impact of Electricity and Production Costs
The cost of electricity and production cost are extremely important factors when analyzing aluminium pricing. Aluminium production is one of the most energy-intensive industrial operations and is highly sensitive to changes in the cost of electricity. Therefore, higher electricity costs will ultimately lead to increased production costs, as aluminium producers cannot effectively pass these increases on to consumers. Additionally, labor, transportation, and other production costs have the potential to considerably drive up production costs.
Market Trend Analysis
Aluminium is one of the most widely used metals in the world, and its production and demand have become an important indicators in determining global economic development and growth. Generally, demand increases during global economic growth as more infrastructure projects are built, and consumer demand for aluminum-intensive products increases. On the other hand, periods of global economic recession tend to lead to a decrease in demand as consumers feel the pinch of an economic slowdown.
Given the current state of the global economy and the ongoing US-China trade war, aluminium prices will likely remain depressed for the short term. Due to its deep involvement in the aluminum industry, the US-China trade war has already had a major impact on aluminium prices. Its effects will likely be felt until a resolution is achieved. Furthermore, global economic uncertainty will continue to stifle demand, leading to lower prices in the foreseeable future.
Impact of Aluminium Price on Window Manufacturers
The increase in the price of aluminium will inevitably affect the price of window frames for manufacturers. As such, manufacturers must be mindful of this price shift when creating pricing strategies for the coming year. In addition, given the current economic climate, manufacturers should be aware that customers may be shopping for lower prices, so it will be important to provide quality options at a reasonable price. Finding the balance between cost and quality is essential to remain competitive in this market.
Furthermore, Aluminium window manufacturers need to be aware that their competition may implement different pricing strategies, so it is important to know the competition and the prices they offer. This can provide valuable insight into the pricing decisions of other window manufacturers and help inform a profitable pricing strategy.
The current aluminium market has seen a considerable increase in prices over the past few years, and this trend is likely to continue into the future. By 2023, it is estimated that the global aluminium price index will reach new highs, with prices expected to be around 40% higher than at present. This will have an impact on aluminium window manufacturers, who will have to take into account these rising costs in their businesses. Nonetheless, by taking the necessary estimated steps, window manufacturers are likely to remain competitive in the market, and even prosper.