The growth will be driven by increasing demand for the metal in developing countries, lower per capita consumption of aluminium in emerging markets, increasing applications of aluminium in various sectors, increasing regulations in the automotive sector that are driving use of aluminium, and recovery in demand from end-use segments post recession.

GIA says that luminium use in various end-use sectors is also increasing thanks to significant benefits offered by this metal as a replacement to conventional metals. Aluminium use in automotives is enabling manufacturers to reduce weight of the vehicles thereby enabling them to enhance fuel efficiency of their products, contribute to reduce CO2 emissions and conform to increasingly stringent emission standards. Likewise, aluminium represents a versatile metal with significant applications in diverse industries such as packaging, construction and aerospace among others.

Beginning in 2002, global growth in production and consumption of aluminium moved at a dramatic pace until 2008, before the world entered into the worst global economic recession in decades. However, aluminium production fell in 2009, pushing the industry into a crisis. Recovery, though, was earlier than expected with production as well as consumption levels rising again in 2010.

Consumer end-use markets such as consumer packaging & consumer goods and transportation segments account for a major chunk of aluminium applications worldwide. Other sectors such as construction & infrastructure and machinery/equipment & electrical segments account for a relatively lesser share in the aluminium market, as compared to the market for zinc and copper. Aluminium in the transportation industry is primarily used in light truck and automotive applications.

Regionally, China, Europe and the US remain the production hubs for aluminium. As of 2011, there were around 120 smelters operating worldwide, excluding those operating in China. The region is fast emerging as the next hub for aluminium smelter capacity, given the abundance of energy resources in the region. Transportation represents the largest end-use segment for aluminium worldwide.

Asia-Pacific represents the largest regional market for aluminium worldwide, with China and India emerging as the major drivers of global growth in consumption of aluminium. Europe represents the second largest regional market worldwide, followed by the US. Growth in the global aluminium market is projected to be driven by the rest of world market, which includes the Middle East and Africa.