The aluminum market was valued at US$ 188.24 Bn in 2017 is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period, according to a new report titled ‘Aluminum Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth Trends, and Forecast, 2018–2026’ published by Transparency Market Research (TMR). Aluminum and aluminum alloys are widely employed in various end-user industries such as automotive, aerospace, construction, packaging, and electrical & electronics. Increase in consumption of aluminum in the transportation sector can be ascribed to the rise in demand for fuel-efficient and lightweight vehicles in the automobile sector and growth in demand for lightweight and high-strength materials in the aerospace sector. Similarly, expansion in the construction sector is driving the demand for aluminum for usage in structural components such as window frames, roofing wall cladding, and concrete beams.
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Resistance faced by vehicles during driving influences fuel consumption and CO2 emission. Higher the resistance, greater the energy required to move a vehicle, leading to added CO2 emissions. Rolling, gradient, and acceleration resistance are highly dependent on vehicle weight and are directly influenced by lightweight design. As a lightweight material, aluminum can lower CO2 emissions in automobiles.
The overall aluminum content per vehicle is poised to increase in the near future. Growth in the automotive industry is expected to be primarily driven by the increase in usage of aluminum sheets for body component applications. The use of aluminum auto body sheets is expected to rise by 110% over the next 10 years. Additionally, aluminum content is estimated to fluctuate, depending on the ability of OEMs to meet CO2 requirements with powertrain improvements and a potential switch from mass-based European CO2 regulation. Thus, rise in usage of aluminum content per vehicle to reduce vehicular emissions is anticipated to propel the demand for aluminum during the forecast period.
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Aluminum and aluminum alloys are the key materials used in the building & construction industry. They are widely used in structural components of a building during its construction. Besides residential and commercial buildings, aluminum alloys are used in the development of infrastructure such as bridges and flyovers, due to their properties such as high corrosion resistance and lightness of weight.
Aluminum is employed in the construction industry due to its performance properties such as durability, design flexibility, high strength-to-weight ratio, high reflectivity, and low maintenance. Furthermore, aluminum does not burn. This property classifies it as a non-combustible construction material. Aluminum alloys melt around 650oC; however, they do not release any harmful gases. The usage of aluminum and its alloys has been increasing in construction applications such as cladding panels.
The global construction industry has been expanding significantly largely due to the strong growth of the industry in developing economies of Asia Pacific. The construction industry in India, China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Vietnam is experiencing strong growth. The usage of metals is low in the construction industry in North America and Europe; however, aluminum is one of the widely used materials. Residential construction in the U.S. has increased significantly over the last few years. This trend is expected to continue in the next few years as well.
The global construction industry is expanding at a rapid pace. It is estimated to witness substantial growth in the next few years. This, along with need for lightweight materials with high durability and strength, is anticipated to boost the demand for aluminum alloys in the construction industry in the near future.
Aluminum is employed in a wide range of packaging applications (from beverage cans to food containers, bottles, tubes, and aerosols). Other packaging applications of aluminum include foil trays, lids, closures, capsules, and wraps. Aluminum is combined with other packaging materials as well; for instance, it is combined with laminated foil packs that are used as blister packs, pouches, and beverage cartons.
Aluminum is one of the preferred packaging materials in the food & beverages industry, due to its exceptional intrinsic characteristics such as high strength, light weight, high durability, high recyclability, and resistance to gases, moisture, and light. Thus, aluminum is preferred by consumers as well as recyclers.
Aluminum is primarily used in foils in the packaging sector. Aluminum foils are versatile and provide protection to food products from oxygen and light. For instance, thin aluminum foils, in combination with plastic and paper, are used for developing laminating films for aseptic beverage cartons.
Aluminum packaging also contributes to resource efficiency. Minimization of resource usage and prevention of waste production can be achieved by reduction of packaging weight and lean production. For instance, several manufacturers of beverage cans have been able to reduce the can thickness, without compromising on product performance.
Aluminum is also recyclable. Once a beverage or food can or a menu tray reaches the end of its useful life, aluminum in these products can be recycled without losing its material properties. The metal can be re-used to make new packaging products or can be utilized in other industries. The well-established packaging application for aluminum and developing trends in the industry are key market indicators of the aluminum market.
The aluminum market is highly consolidated, with the top few players accounting for major share. Aluminum alloys are highly price sensitive, leading to price war among the existing manufacturers. In order to secure their market share, aluminum manufacturers have signed multi-year agreements with buyers. This has intensified competition in the market. Additionally, manufacturers are developing innovative and advanced products to meet the increasing need of their global clients. The market is also witnessing acquisitions of manufacturing companies by key market players. These factors have further intensified the competition in the global aluminum market.
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