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What Are The Major Regions That Consume Aluminum?

Mohit Oberoi, CFA - Author

Nov. 27 2019, Updated 7:07 p.m. ET

Major regions that consume aluminum

In the last part of this series, we looked at the major countries that produce aluminum. Now, we’ll look at the major countries that consume aluminum. The demand in these regions is a key driver for the aluminum industry.

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China is the biggest aluminum consumer

The above chart shows the major regions that consumed aluminum in 2013. As you can see, China is the biggest consumer. It consumes almost half of the aluminum that’s produced globally. However, this isn’t surprising. China is the biggest consumer of most industrial commodities. Chinese demand guided the global rally in commodities.

Interestingly, China isn’t a big aluminum exporter. This is in contrast to the steel industry. Cheap exports from China is the biggest risk for the global steel industry. Why isn’t China a big aluminum exporter? We’ll answer this question in more detail later in this series.

Europe is the second biggest consumer

Europe is the second biggest aluminum consumer. It accounted for ~16% of global aluminum consumption in 2013. Constellium (CSTM) is a major aluminum fabricator in Europe. It reported lower-than-expected earnings in its third quarter results. Recently, the stock touched its 52-week low.

North America’s aluminum consumption accounts for 12% of global consumption. Major aluminum producers—like BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO)—have a presence in North America. Alcoa (AA) is the largest aluminum company in North America. It’s a top holding for the SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME).

Japan is also a major aluminum consumer. In 2013, Japan accounted for ~4% of global aluminum consumption.

In the next part of this series, we’ll discuss the US aluminum industry in more detail.


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