Summary of our market study

The global aluminum market has shown resilience and growth despite facing challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a decline in demand from key industries like automotive and construction. As of 2020, the market began to recover, with China remaining the dominant producer, contributing to 58% of the 67,000 tons of aluminum produced worldwide. The Italian market, in particular, saw a strong recovery post-pandemic, with a 25.7% increase in employment and a turnover of €12 billion in 2021, a 30% increase from 2020.

Germany is Italy's most significant trade partner in aluminum, with Italy having a positive trade balance of approximately $1.147 billion. The construction industry, currently consuming 1.2 million tons of aluminum annually in Europe, is also a significant segment. The future of aluminum looks promising, with potential expansion in the electric vehicle market and developments in aluminum-based battery technology, potentially offering a more sustainable alternative to lithium batteries.

Aluminum Market Trends in Italy: Navigating Growth and Constraints

Italy's aluminum market, much like its global counterpart, has been on a trajectory of growth, influenced by diverse industrial demands and innovative trends. With applications spanning across transportation, construction, packaging, and more, there's no denying the versatile appeal of aluminum in both national and global markets. The Italian aluminum industry boasts a robust performance, with recent figures indicating the country generated a turnover of approximately between €10 and €15 billion, a notable increase from prior periods. The vitality of this market is further underscored by a per capita consumption rate of around 30 to 40 kg, which is among the highest in the world, reflecting the metal's substantial integration in various aspects of Italian industry and consumer products. Diving into specific sectors, the automotive industry emerges as a primary consumer, significantly contributing to the growing demand for aluminum. On average, today's vehicles incorporate between 80 and 100 kg of aluminum, and this value is anticipated to climb by 10 to 15 percent over the next few years. Paired with the burgeoning electric vehicle market, the need for aluminum continues to surge as manufacturers seek to balance battery weight with the lightweight properties of aluminum. 

The Italian market, in particular, benefits from government incentives like the "Superbonus 110", which has invigorated the construction sector and, by extension, increased the demand for aluminum. However, Italy's strength in processing and recycling aluminum overshadows its local production capabilities. Given the country's lack of bauxite resources and the energy-intensive nature of primary aluminum production, Italy primarily relies on the importation of raw materials, with nations such as Germany being significant trade partners. This dependency on imports presents both an opportunity and a constraint. The imposition of tariffs on Russian aluminum, for instance, due to geopolitical tensions, has challenged the European aluminum market, disproportionately affecting small and medium enterprises that are pivotal to the sector's employment rates. The COVID-19 pandemic, too, has left its mark, throttling demand as industries like automotive and metallurgy contended with reduced sales. Yet, recovery seems to be on the horizon with commodity prices rebounding and global production catching up. Looking forward, the bright prospect of aluminum-sulfur batteries, with their cost-effectiveness and easier recycling compared to lithium counterparts, could usher in a new era of demand for the versatile metal.

Prominent Market Players in the Aluminum Industry Landscape

In the dynamic world of the aluminum industry, companies across various segments have established themselves as significant contributors and innovators. Here we spotlight key enterprises that are shaping the landscape of aluminum production, processing, and product development, each carving out their niche within the broad spectrum of applications for this versatile metal.

  • Foundries - The Backbone of Aluminum Supply Foundries are pivotal in the aluminum industry, acting as a source for the vast array of industries that require aluminum in various forms. Leading foundries like Raffmetal S.P.A. and Intals S.P.A. are central to this segment, with their expertise in refining, alloying, and preparing aluminum for downstream use. They play a critical role in ensuring the quality and performance characteristics necessary for specialized applications.
  • Semi-Finished and Finished Products Production - Shaping Innovation Once aluminum leaves the foundries, companies specializing in semi-finished and finished products take the baton. These companies, such as Thin Lamination S.P.A., Profilglass S.P.A., Slim Aluminum S.P.A., Metra S.P.A., and Novelis Italia S.P.A., push the boundaries of what can be done with aluminum. From architectural solutions to tailored components for various industries, they manipulate aluminum into forms that meet the precise needs of their clients, aiding in everything from construction to automobile manufacturing.
  • Consumer Products - Closing the Loop The journey of aluminum often ends in consumer products, and firms like Cuki Cofresco S.r.l. play a vital role in this final segment. With a focus on packaging solutions that leverage aluminum’s protective qualities and recyclability, these companies contribute to an aluminum lifecycle that often sees this material returning to the foundries to begin anew.

Together, these key players - the foundries, the processors, and the consumer product specialists - form an interconnected ecosystem that ensures aluminum continues to be an essential material in modern society, from conception to reincarnation. Each company reflects crucial stages of the aluminum value chain, and their synergistic roles underline the market's breadth and adaptability. Through their ongoing efforts, the future of aluminum looks brighter and more innovative than ever.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market Overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

Aluminum is a silver-colored malleable metal (it is the sixth most ductile and second most malleable metal on Earth). Aluminum can be used for a variety of purposes, including transportation equipment construction, packaging production, other types of construction, etc.

Today, the primary aluminum production market is mainly held by China, which has large reserves of bauxite, the basic ore for obtaining this light metal. There are two main types of aluminum sold in the market:

1.Die-cast aluminum, used in all major industries

2.Extruded aluminum, used for fillers, 3D molds and welding.

Globally, the aluminum market was valued at $147.2 billion in 2018. In the period from 2019 to 2026, the value of this market is expected to reach $189.8 billion, a growth of 3.2 percent.

The aluminum market in Italy is also growing and is so profitable that it ranks second in Europe, in terms of sales, right after Germany.

An estimated 2 million tons of aluminum were produced in Italy in 2019 and per capita consumption was 34 kg, one of the highest values in the world. However, a problem affecting Italy at the moment is the lack of raw materials and thus the shortage of aluminum compared to demand.

One of the largest aluminum producers in Italy is Profall, which supplies extruded aluminum to all industries.

The recent pandemic has also had a major effect on this market, especially given the role of China. Beijing is in fact the world's largest aluminum producer, and the city blockade has generated disruption to this industry worldwide.

Fortunately, after a difficult year, the commodities market and the aluminum market in particular are experiencing an important period of recovery, mainly due to the industrial recovery globally.

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Produzione di alluminio primario
  • Produzione alluminio primario
  • Breakdown of sales by product
  • Futturato produzione di alluminio
  • Aluminum export destinations
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Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Profilglass S.P.A.
Raffmetal S.P.A.
Intals S.P.A.
Laminazione Sottile S.P.A.
Slim Aluminum S.P.A.
Metra S.P.A.
Novelis Italia S.P.A.
Cuki Cofresco S.r.l.

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