Mitsui & Co. Forecasts 5.5% World Aluminium Supply and Demand Growth in 2012

Japanese major general trading house, Mitsui & Co., forecasts world primary aluminium demand increases by 5.6% to 47.236 million tonnes in 2012 compared with 2011 while the supply increases by 5.4% to 47.807 million tonnes. The world demand is expected to represent moderate year-to-year increase mainly pushed up by strong demand growth in emerging countries such as China and Brazil.

The firm expects Chinese primary aluminium consumption is likely to increase solidly for construction materials along with active investment for infrastructure and public engineering. The aluminium usage is also expected to keep gradual increase in automobile industry though Chinese car production growth is currently slowing. In Brazil, infrastructure construction will strongly continue toward the Soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympic Games in 2016.

Japanese primary aluminium consumption is expected to increase mainly for construction materials due to the governmental incentive program for environment friendly residents or reconstruction demand in the disaster areas of the major earthquake. In Southeast Asia, aluminium usage would increase along highly economic growth in Indonesia and Malaysia or restorations of Thai plants damaged by flood disaster.

As for the primary aluminium supply in China, 1-million-tonne class old smelters are likely to be optimized in the coastal areas while new smelter constructions will advance in the inland areas and large-scale smelters with total output capacity at 4-5 million tonnes per year will enter operations.

On the other hand, in North America and Europe, major producers such as Rio Tinto Alcan and Alcoa currently move into curtails or output reductions at high cost smelters.