The global alumina market was valued at $61,093.4 million in 2018, and is projected to witness a CAGR of 2.2% between 2019 and 2024. The market is expected to grow volumetric CAGR of 3.0% during the 2019–2024 period. Further, lower prices and growing demand for alumina are expected to fuel the market growth. The demand for metallurgical grade alumina for high-volume aluminum production in the APAC region is expected to generate the demand for alumina in the region.
In 2018, APAC accounted for the largest size of 85,026.3 kilotons in the alumina market. The regional market is expected to demonstrate a CAGR of 3.3% during the forecast period, reaching a volume of 102,683.1 kilotons in 2024. The region is highly integrated in the alumina supply chain with high-volume capabilities of bauxite mining, refining, and processing, aluminum production, and compounding of chemical-grade alumina into final products. Furthermore, the regional market is driven by the high-volume alumina manufacturing capacities in China, India, and Indonesia, which, together, as per the data released by the British Geological Survey in its publication, titled World Mineral Production 2013–2017, accounted for over 58.5% of the global alumina production in 2017. The data from the publication also mentioned a high degree of forward integration, with the region accounting for over 64% of the worldwide aluminum production (which generated a significant demand for metallurgical-grade alumina) in 2017. This was chiefly due to the concentrated aluminum production capacities in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia.
The high-volume demand for metallurgical-grade alumina is closely followed by the demand for chemical-grade alumina in the APAC region, chiefly China, owing to the requirement for alumina in ceramics, abrasives, and refractories. This demand in the alumina market is linked to the improving cost dynamics, better product characteristics, and requirement for high-performance substrates in several end-use industries, such as automotive, construction, and electrical and electronics.
Dynamics of Alumina Market
The increasing alumina production in the APAC region has been identified as the key trend in the alumina market. This trend is in stark correlation with the increasingly bauxite mining in APAC countries to make the considerably growing alumina production possible. Furthermore, in near future, the region is expected to generate a high demand for metallurgical and chemical-grade alumina, which, in due course, will allow the region to continue on its high production and demand trajectory for the compound.
Macroeconomic growth across the APAC region and Eastern Europe, coupled with increasing industrialization, has offered traction to the global construction industry and generated the demand for high-quality products, such as specialty steel, glass, and cement. Countries such as the U.S. China, India, Russia, and the U.K. are expected to be the forbearers of the bandwagon and account for a high-volume production and adoption of steel, thereby driving the demand for alumina at the rudimentary refractory level, and in turn, the alumina market.
The onset of advanced technology and innovation is expected to generate a novel demand for chemical alumina and help the alumina market prosper. Its adoption is expected to be driven by the rising demand for energy-efficient, environmentally acceptable, and technologically feasible products, and government policies. For instance, the U.S. and European Union (EU) have adopted legislations aimed at ramping up the domestic manufacturing of LCDs to meet the demand for larger-panel, flexible, and high-precision LCD TVs with locally manufactured units.
Additionally, as countries across the world focus on lowering their dependency on fossil fuels and increase attention on the diversification of their energy portfolios with increased renewable energy generation, the demand for high-performance materials for gas turbines and stationary energy storage devices, such as lithium-ion batteries, is expected to offer traction to the demand for alumina in the global market.
Segmentation Analysis of Alumina Market
Based on type, metallurgical alumina accounted for the largest demand in the alumina market. The high demand for the metallurgical grade is attributed to the increasing consumption of aluminum in end-use industries, such as transportation, construction, packaging, and consumer durables. Furthermore, global macroeconomic growth, coupled with robust prosperity forecasts for these industries, is expected to draw the demand for aluminum for a plethora of product formulations, thereby offering driving the market in the foreseeable future.
Based on application, the demand for alumina for ceramics is expected to grow at the highest CAGR in the alumina market. Advanced ceramics are chiefly manufactured using calcined alumina. The material is favored as the choice of substrate for ceramic production owing to its ease of mixing with other batch formulations, ability to allow particle size control and distribution, good electrical insulation, high mechanical strength, low dielectric constant, and excellent corrosion resistance. Furthermore, alumina components are easily workable and machinable with a range of physical and chemical processes, which improves its possible usage base.
Geographical Analysis of Alumina Market
Globally, APAC was the largest alumina market during the 2014–2018 period and is expected to maintain the trend during the forecast period. This can be mainly attributed to the high-volume demand for metallurgical-grade alumina, which is closely followed by the growing requirement for chemical-grade alumina in the region, chiefly China, owing to the requirement for alumina in ceramics, abrasives, and refractories. Additionally, other countries, such as Malaysia, India, Indonesia, and Australia, have significant aluminum production capacities and also account for a significant consumption of metallurgical-grade alumina.
Competitive Landscape of Alumina Market
The global alumina market is fragmented, with Chinese market players accounting for large market shares owing to their high production capacities. The Aluminum Corporation of China Limited accounted for the largest market share in the market in 2018. Several market players are engaged in joint ventures for production flexibilities, cost optimization, and catering to clients in several locations.
Recent Strategic Developments of Major Alumina Market Players
In January 2019, Vedanta Limited, a mining company based in India and a major alumina market player, planned to increase its capital expenditure to $250–$300 million in order to raise the production capacity of its Lanjigarh alumina refinery in Odisha. The refinery expansion is aimed at reducing Vedanta's dependence on imported alumina and also lead to decreased aluminum production costs.
In August 2019, CBA Brazilian Aluminum Company acquired Arconic Inc.’s operations, located in Itapissuma, Pernambuco, Brazil, for $50 million. The plant, which has an annual production capacity of 50,000 tons of aluminum sheets, will be involved in the production of CBA’s line of rolled products in order to improve the competitiveness of the domestic industry against imported products.
Key Questions Addressed/Answered in the Report
What is the current scenario of the alumina market?
What is the historical size and present size of the different categories within the market segments and their future potential?
What are the major catalysts for the market and their impact during the short, medium, and long terms?
What are the evolving opportunities for the players in the market?
Which are the key regions from the investment perspective?
What are the key strategies being adopted by the major players to expand their market share?
Which segment has the highest value potential in the market?
Who are the global refractory manufacturers and what are their capacities?
Who are the major consumers of alumina refractories?