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Aluminum Production by Country

aluminum production by country

Aluminum is lightweight, durable and flexible, making it one of the most commonly produced metals in the world. The material is used in the construction industry, automotive manufacturing, appliances and consumer goods.

One of the benefits of aluminum is its lightweight. This characteristic makes vehicles lighter and can reduce the gas consumption of a car. This material also meets other industries' demands. Aluminum's flexibility and electrically conductive properties give it an advantage in electronics industries, while its recyclability makes it popular for use in making food-safe foils and cans.

While contribution by country varies, world primary aluminum production measured about 65.3 million tons in 2020 alone, with China producing the lion's share (over 55%). The metal is produced in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Aluminum comes from bauxite ore, which is made into alumina in alumina refineries and then smelted into aluminum

The Top 10 Aluminum-Producing Countries

Many countries produce aluminum, with each nation playing a unique role in the global marketplace. Examining primary aluminum production by country shows that each nation participates in the industry in unique ways:

1. China

China is the world's largest primary aluminum producer, manufacturing 37 million metric tons in 2020. One reason China produces so much aluminum is the country's strong manufacturing industry, which requires the metal for vehicles, building and construction, electronics and consumer goods. The nation also exports aluminum in semi-fabricated forms via its excellent shipping capabilities. China’s aluminum production is mainly coal-powered. The largest domestic producers include China Hongqiao, Chalco, Yunnan Aluminum, Xinfa, and East Group, among others.

Since 2018, China’s government has sought to control the country’s aluminum production capacity to address environmental and overproduction concerns. Despite this effort, the nation still leads by far the world in aluminum production.

3. Russia

Russia is the second-largest nation for primary aluminum production, with 3.9 million metric tons produced in 2020 (mainly using hydroelectricity). RUSAL, based in Moscow, is the largest primary aluminum producing company outside China.

3. India

As another of the largest aluminum producers located in Asia, India produced 3.6 million metric tons of primary aluminum in 2020. India's power, consumer goods, transportation
and construction sectors create high demand for aluminum. The bulk of India’s primary aluminum production is coal-powered. The local companies dominating primary aluminum production are Vedanta, Hindalco, and Nalco.

4. Canada

Canada produced 3.11 million metric tons of aluminum in 2020. It's home to 10 primary aluminum smelters across the country, all located in the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia. Canada also has a low carbon footprint in its aluminum production compared with other nations, amid its large use of hydroelectricity for the smelting process. 

5. UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) produced about 2.5 million metric tons of primary aluminum in 2020. Aluminum production accounted for 1.4% of the UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018. While local construction and other industries rely on the material, the UAE exports most of its aluminum to 70 countries around the world. Emirates Global Aluminum, a manufacturing giant that has operated for decades, is one of the largest companies in the UAE.

6. Australia

Australia produced 1.6 million tons of aluminum in 2020. Over 15,000 people are employed in the sector, which includes four aluminum smelters, all located near the coastline. These locations are Bell Bay in Tasmania, Boyne Island in Queensland, Portland in Victoria and Tomago in New South Wales. Access to the coastline allows these smelters to access electricity and trade routes — especially those connecting the continent to Asia — to export the finished product. 

7. Bahrain

This island nation produced 1.5 million tons in 2020. The Kingdom of Bahrain is well-positioned to be a key aluminum exporter since it can easily send large volumes of the metal to nearby markets like those in the Middle East, Europe and North America markets. Aluminum Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba) is the largest primary aluminum producer in the county. 

8. Norway

Norway produced 1.3 million tons of aluminum in 2020. This nation has one of the most energy-efficient aluminum production processes in the world and one of the lowest carbon footprints amid the usage of clean energy for the smelting process. Norsk Hydro ASA and Alcoa Norway ANS are the two producers of primary aluminum in the country, both with multiple facilities.

9. USA

The USA produced 1.0 million metric tons of primary aluminum in 2020. Still, the U.S. is heavily dependent on aluminum imports. Between 1991 and 2020, the American aluminum production industry saw a carbon footprint drop of 49% as several smelters exit the market. There are now only six operating primary aluminum smelters in the US. Top producers in the country include Alcoa, Century Aluminum and Magnitude 7 Metals. These companies have six aluminum smelters in the United States. 

10. Iceland

Iceland has three aluminum smelters producing over 800,000 metric tons of primary aluminum per year. Iceland has attracted smelters owned by U.S. companies and entities from other countries because its electricity is cheaper and clean (geothermal and hydro). This difference results from the nation's use of dams that harness glacial meltwater's power. Iceland also has ports, which allow international companies to ship their aluminum globally.

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Gain strategic intelligence from a detailed analysis on global primary aluminum production trends and figures—broken down by region, key countries, and key smelters,
along with the latest developments on who is expanding, cutting, delaying or suffering disruption in production, why these moves are being made, and what to expect. Find valuable data on output, capacity utilization and production costs.HARBOR Aluminum Intelligence is the leading source for pricing insights into the aluminum market. Our sole focus is on aluminum, allowing us to follow the market closely and supply you with the information we learn. With years of experience, HARBOR Aluminum Intelligence offers consulting solutions to businesses and decision-makers across industries. 

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