World demand to rise 5.9% annually through 2017
World demand for aluminum (including primary and secondary/recycled) is forecast to expand 5.9 percent per annum through 2017 to 86.5 million metric tons. China will pace growth and increase its share of global demand from 43 percent in 2012 to 48 percent in 2017.
Demand will strongly increase in all developing regions, with the Asia/Pacific region leading the way. Rising disposable incomes in developing countries will result in a healthy expansion in demand for key aluminum consuming products such as motor vehicles, food and beverage packaging, and durable goods.
Construction market to post strongest growth
The construction market will post the strongest growth and remain the primary user of aluminum, with gains benefiting from recovery in the housing sectors of a number of developed nations as well as rapid increases in construction spending in the developing world as a result of strong economic growth and urbanization. Even in mature developed countries such as the US, recent bridge collapses suggest that the replacement of older, nonbuilding infrastructure is of utmost urgency, and will benefit aluminum demand as a result.
Aluminum usage in the motor vehicle market will continue to benefit from what is now essentially a global trend of car manufacturers striving to increase the average miles per gallon of their fleets by reducing the average weight of each vehicle. Aluminum is significantly lighter than steel, and aluminum use per motor vehicle is expected to rise from a global average of 120 kilograms/vehicle in 2012 to 132 kilograms/vehicle in 2017. In most developed countries, this ratio is already higher. Motor vehicle aluminum demand in developing countries will also benefit from the opportunity for rising car ownership rates. For example, in 2012, there were 801 vehicles in use per thousand persons in the US, compared to 81 vehicles per thousand persons in China, and only 22 vehicles per thousand persons in India.
Aluminum use in packaging will advance based on rapid proliferation of processed food and beverage products in developing countries. Healthy economic growth combined with the increasing presence of women in the workforce in these countries will result in a preference for convenience packaged food and beverage items.