In terms of demand, the key aluminum markets include China, the United States, Germany, India and Japan. After years of supply outstripping demand, aluminum inventories are expected to fall, particularly in markets outside China. Driven by overcapacities on the one hand and cyclical peaks in demand on the other hand, the spot price of the commodity is highly volatile. Between October and December of 2016, prices were so low that many aluminum smelters had to increase their levels of idle production capacities. As a result, the global aluminum market is predicted to be in deficit of about 600,000 tons. The growing volume of recycled aluminum may help reduce the imbalance of supply and demand in the aluminum industry.
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