Global demand for aluminum was up by 4.4% in Q4 2020 as compared to Q4 2019, while it grew by 3.2% when compared to Q3 2020. This growth in demand is due to the recovery of downstream operation and production activities in end use industries. The pessimistic sentiment towards the macro economy had eased from Q3 2020, and a gradual recovery in metal prices was registered. Aluminum prices on average increased about 12% in Q4 2020 when compared to Q3 2020. The figure below depicts the change in demand and the price of aluminum in the past five quarters.
Figure 1: Global Quarterly Aluminum Shipment and Price Trends
North American aluminum producers saw a recovery in demand in the automotive sector in Q4 2020. In the North America, demand for aluminum increased by about 5% in Q4 2020 when compared to Q4 2019. Automotive and Construction account for ~35% of the US aluminum consumption; increase in demand for aluminum is expected due to a steady recovery rate in the end use markets.
European aluminum production declined by ~2% in Q4 2020 as compared to Q4 2019, while there is a marginal growth in demand of 1.5% as compared to Q3 2020. Demand for aluminum was also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the European region, as light vehicle sales declined by ~5% in Q4 2020 compared to Q4 2019.
The Asian aluminum market grew by 3.8% in Q4 2020, as compared to Q4 2019. Demand in China improved significantly in Q4 2020, rising freight costs, and tight scrap supplies fueled the rally in the aluminum market. China is the world’s largest aluminum producer; the production of aluminum in China grew by 8% in Q4 2020 as compared to Q4 2019, while production declined marginally in other Asian countries during the same period. Prices have also increased considerably for aluminum and associated products in the third and fourth quarters of 2020 due to the growth of various end use industries like transportation, construction, and industrial production.
The price and demand analysis on above is published monthly for various regions. Lucintel analysts collect supply, demand and price data from various suppliers and consumers on a monthly basis and also analyzes news on supply and demand issues, production, and price trends. This allows Lucintel to publish unbiased assessments on price and demand movements to help you make confident business decisions on your negotiation or business issues.
Become a valued Lucintel member to gain access to thousands of market data, price and demand trends, and more for one low rate ($89 / month to $1,850 / month). Analyst and sales support included.