Aluminum - global end use by sector 2018

Roughly half of worldwide semi-finished aluminum products in 2018 were consumed by the transport and construction industries, each corresponding to approximately a quarter of the total demand. In terms of mass, aluminum has the second highest level of annual production of all metals after sodium. Aluminum is a base metal that is typically used in alloys with low quantities of other metals and can be found in automobiles, airplanes and drinks cans.

A leading metal

The third most abundant chemical element in earth’s crust is sought after for its light weight and resistance to corrosion. Aluminum is also well-known for being a widely recycled metal, with over 75 percent of all produced aluminum still in circulation and being used. 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 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.

Global demand for aluminum products in 2018, by sector

Share of end use
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Release date

March 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

The values refer to semi-fabricated products.

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Statistics on "Base metals"

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