85 % of extracted bauxite is being further processed to obtain aluminium oxide (alumina) and further the aluminium itself. In the last twenty years the structure of demand for aluminium has changed. With implications for physical trade of bauxite and aluminium. Particularly increased its application in production of aircrafts (up to 80% of passanger airplane weight might be aluminium), vessels, cars and packaging. Looking by jurisdictions, in USA most of aluminium has been used in automotive industry, in Europe and Brazil in production of packaging. In India almost half of aluminium is applied in electrotechnical industry (sometimes replacing copper, since aluminium posses up to 65% of its conductivity, but is 3 times ligher) especially in the construction of large conductors. In automotive industry application of aluminium, decreased a weight of cars by 10 %, while vessels in which aluminium is applied can decrease their weight down to 60% in comparison to their counterparts build with other metals, without diminishing their load carring capabilities. In construction industry, employment of aluminium elements is especially important in difficult conditions (like low temperature, high seismicity). Forecasts for aluminium demand in China remains good in the long run. China remains the bigest consumer for aluminium, for many years Chinese growth of demand for aluminium exceeded its domestic production by 1.2 fold. China needs aluminium in construction and electrotechnical industries. Also due to still growing electrification of less developed regions. Russia has been historically a major consumer of aluminium in such areas as defence industry and automotive sector. However through 90′s these trend has changed and a structure of consumption of aluminium in Russia resembles nowadays most of the countries in western Europe (namely construction and packaging sector).
In physical trade of aluminium, we can discern international trade of bauxite, trade of alumina (aluminium oxide), trade of raw aluminium and trade of aluminium scrap. In the last 20 years 35 % of extracted bauxite has found a place on the international market. Majority of bauxite is being traded physically based on long standing contracts. Significant growth of trade on international markets could have been observed in between 2005 and 2008 when extraction of bauxite increased in Jamaica and Indonesia. From data available from before the crisis, 72 millions tons of bauxite has been exported globally, 90 % of the figure has been exported from Guinea, Indonesia, Jamaica, Australia and Brazil. Financial crisis affected physical trade of bauxite quiet significantly. In 2009 only 48 millions tonnes has been exported. The worst hit was India, with its bauxite export decreasing by 13 times. Countries that are the biggest importer of bauxite in post-crisis era, are China and USA. Ukraine, Spain, Canada, Ireland and Germany are significant importers on worldwide markets. As far as bauxite “products” are concerned, more than half of produced alumina (aluminium oxide) has been traded internationally, but only 10 % has been traded on spot market. Major part of alumina has been sold based on long-term contracts. Australia is a definite leader in export of Alumina, (exporting over 40% of volume traded globally). Here Jamaica does not boast results mentioned previously in the bauxite trade, delivering only 8 % of the volume. Brazil still remains an important player in this sector. As far ast the most processed product is concerned, the global structure of trade of raw aluminium and aluminium scrap, looks as follows, major exporters are (listed by decreasing volume): Russia, Canada, Australia, Norway, China, Spain and Brazil. On the receiving side, major counterparties in this business are located in Japan, USA, Germany, South Korea, Netherlands, Turkey, Belgium, France and Taiwan
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