A leading market
The aluminum market value is projected to reach some 250 billion U.S. dollars by 2026, in part due to its slowly increasing average prices. These were projected to reach some 1,680 dollars per metric tons in 2021. Aluminum is also well-known for being a widely recycled metal, with over 19,300 metric tons of recycled aluminum produced worldwide in 2018. Often the metal is said to lead markets due to its wide use in essential sectors; when aluminum consumption falls, this is often indicating that economies may begin to slow, such as when Chinese consumption fell due to Sino-U.S. trade tensions.
China is the main producer
China is not only the largest consumer of aluminum, but the nation also has the largest smelter production. China’s energy-thirsty smelters largely run on coal energy. Aluminum production has grown in China over 2019, which has caused coal miners to significantly increase production in order to meet demand. In 2019, Chalco and the Hongqiao Group were the principal producers for primary aluminum, surpassing other companies by over 1.9 million metric tons.