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Analysis: Aluminium demand for auto sector to see rapid growth in 2020


SMM expects auto companies to use more aluminium from 2020, following a five-year period of intensive steel usage.

We forecast the average aluminium consumption per passenger car in China to reach 175kg in 2020, up from 142kg in 2017. This means aluminium consumption for the sector would amount to 4.67 million mt in 2020, from 3.54 million mt seen last year.

This is mainly due to the nationwide implementation of vehicle emissions policy in 2020, SMM understood. Chinese auto companies are set to make sure their cars to be even lighter.

SMM learned that the lightweight auto research group of Aluminium Corp of China (Chalco) has participated in the development of new car models while its subsidiary Southwest Aluminium has formed the ability to produce auto body. Moreover, its Fujian branch is expected to produce aluminium plates for auto body in 2019. Nanshan Aluminium is also researching on production line of aluminium plates.

But before the uptick, the kay factor that has restrained the aluminium consumption in the auto sector was costs. Steel, in the meantime, provides better price-performance ratio.

For raw materials, aluminium plates for the outer end of a car body cost over 30,000 yuan/mt while the prices for the inner end amount to some 20,000 yuan/mt. Repairing costs are also higher. So far, the usage of aluminium concentrated in high-end models.

SMM forecast aluminium plates used for auto body at 78,000 mt in 2018.

Source: SMM