Aluminium - Commodities Info
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- Aluminium is the third most abundant element in the Earth's crust. In nature however it only exists in very stable combinations with other materials (particularly as silicates and oxides) and it was not until 1808 that its existence was first established.
- Aluminum is light. Its density is only one third that of steel. Aluminum is resistant to weather, common atmospheric gases and a wide range of liquids. Aluminum has a high reflectivity, and therefore finds more decorative uses. Aluminum has high elasticity, which is an advantage in structures under shock loads.
- Aluminium keeps its toughness down to very low temperatures, without becoming brittle like carbon steels. It is easily worked and formed. Aluminium conducts electricity and heat nearly as well as copper.
Supply and Demand
- Aluminium ore, most commonly bauxite, is plentiful and occurs mainly in tropical and sub-tropical areas - Africa, West Indies, South America and Australia. There are also some deposits in Europe
- The leading producing countries include the United States, Russia, Canada, the European Union, China, Australia, Brazil, Norway, South Africa, Venezuela, the Gulf States (Bahrain and United Arab Emirates), India and New Zealand; together they represent more than 90 percent of the world primary aluminium production.
- The largest aluminium markets are North America, Europe and East Asia.
- The global production of aluminium is about 27.7 and 28.9 million tons in 2003 and 2004 respectively.
- China, Russia, Canada and United States produced about 6.1, 3.6, 2.64 and 2.5 million tons of aluminium in year 2004 respectively.
- India is considered the fifth largest producer of aluminium in the world.
- It is estimated at about 3037 million tonnes for all categories of bauxite (proved, probable and possible). With the present level of consumption of aluminum, the identified reserves would have an estimated life of over 350 years. India's reserves are estimated to be 7.5 per cent of the total deposits and installed capacity is about 3 per cent of the world.
- In terms of demand and supply, the situation is not only self-sufficient, but it also has export potential on a competitive basis. India's annual export of aluminium is about 82,000 tonnes.
- India’s annual consumption of Aluminum is around 6.18 lakh tons and is projected to increase to 7.8 lakh tones by 2007.
- About a decade back, the primary Indian aluminium producers were BALCO, NALCO, INDAL, HINDALCO and MALCO. Of the five, two (BALCO and NALCO) were in the public sector while the other three were in the private sector
- As a result of the process of liberalization of trade in aluminium, India has emerged as a net exporter of aluminium, on competitive terms. Government monopoly, in terms of aluminium production, removal of price and distribution control over aluminium, has been diluted in favour of private sector. The ownership pattern in private sector has undergone changes. With the takeover of INDAL by the HINDALCO, it has emerged as the major producer of aluminium in the country.
World Aluminium Markets
- LME, TOCOM, SHFE and NYMEX are the important international markets that provide direction to the aluminium prices.
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