aluminum can recycling
IAI Secretary General Miles Prosser says opportunities related to recycling and sustainability will help drive demand for aluminum.
Photo by Recycling Today staff

Aluminum will remain in high demand, says IAI

Association says aluminum demand will increase by nearly 40 percent by the end of this decade.

March 24, 2022

A new report from the London-based International Aluminium Institute (IAI) finds that global aluminum demand will increase by almost 40 percent by 2030 and that the aluminum sector will need to produce an additional 33.3 million metric tons to meet demand growth in all industrial sectors. That finding points to a need for aluminum producers to grow from making 86.2 million metric tons in 2020 to 119.5 metric tons in 2030.

The IAI study, “Opportunities For Aluminium In A Post-Covid Economy,” conducted by United Kingdom-based business analysts Cru International on behalf of IAI, details demand across key industrial sectors and regions in a post-COVID-19 economy. Transportation, construction, packaging and the electrical sectors are the four key sectors that will drive demand, accounting for 75 percent of aluminum required, says IAI.

Two-thirds of this growth is expected to come from China, which will require 12.3 million metric tons, with the rest of Asia adding a further 8.6 million metric tons. Additionally, North America will need 5.1 million metric tons and Europe 4.8 million metric tons. “Together, these four regions alone will account for more than 90 percent of the additional aluminum required globally,” IAI states.

“The figures in today’s report show that as society increasingly focuses on efficiency and sustainability, so are the market opportunities for aluminum,” says IAI Secretary General, Miles Prosser. “Within each of the sectors, key drivers of demand are linked to sustainability and climate change issues.”

Renewable energy demands will create a rise in demand for aluminum to replace existing copper cabling for power distribution, IAI says. In total, the electric sector will require an additional 5.2 million metric tons by 2030, according to the group.

The construction sector will require an additional 4.6 million metric tons by the end of the decade. Urbanization will account for 44 percent of demand growth, predominantly coming from Asia (excluding China), according to IAI.

Cru’s Head of Aluminium Zaid Aljanabi says, “The aluminum industry has an opportunity to continue to advance its sustainability credentials, listen and respond to consumer expectations and work along the value chain to deliver more sustainable products and services to consumers.”

Prosser says, “Around 75 percent of the almost 1.5 billion metric tons of aluminum ever produced is still in productive use today. Meeting growing demand sustainably is a challenge for the entire value chain, but the industry has the expertise and passion to find the solutions needed to reduce the carbon intensity of our primary metal.”

The full IAI report can be downloaded from this web page.