2nd Chinese Aluminium Conference

Venue: Shangri-La Hotel

Location: Shanghai, China

Event Date/Time: Nov 08, 2004 End Date/Time: Nov 10, 2004
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While China's aluminium industry growth has had a massive impact on alumina market fundamentals, the impact on global refined metal balances has to date been limited, because aluminium production and consumption in the world's most populous country have grown largely in tandem.

But that is changing, with China already emerging as a net exporter of aluminium, and massive private sector investment in new smelter capacity planned or underway. In the ten years to 2002, Chinese smelter capacity grew by 3m tonnes to 4m tpy, but the intensity of investment is set to gather pace in the coming years. By 2007 China could realistically have as much as 8m tonnes of smelter capacity with the figure rising beyond 10m tonnes by the end of the decade.

Today smelter capacity is being installed in parallel with investment in power generation, so the new smelters will have captive electricity supplies. The capital cost of investment in China still remains way below greenfield smelter build costs elsewhere. Provided China can secure enough alumina – and its readiness to invest in overseas refining capacity of late is worth noting – then it would not be impossible to envisage China accounting for over a quarter of world smelting capacity within the next few years.

At the same time, though, the potential for further demand growth in China is all too obvious. China is embarked on a metals-intensive period of growth. Aluminium consumption has been rising at a rate of 20-30% per year and even if this slips to 15% annually as has been predicted, with per capita consumption in the country at barely 3kg, aluminium usage clearly has a long way to go. The largest market for Chinese aluminium today is in construction – but with the surging demand for consumer goods, transport and packaging are seen as particularly bright in terms of growth potential.

In the coming few years, therefore, global aluminium balances are likely to depend on what happens in China more than ever before. Yes, aluminium is being exported, and yes, these exports are likely to rise before they fall, limiting prospects for price recovery, particularly as we head through 2005. But at some point in the future the scales will swing back the other way as consumption catches up – and possibly exceeds output.

Building on the success of its first dedicated aluminium event in 2003, Metal Bulletin, in conjunction with Minmetals, is planning its second Chinese Aluminium Conference in Shanghai from November X-X 2004. This will bring together over 200 companies active in all spheres of aluminium both in China and elsewhere – companies who have the foresight to know that direct contact with the industry, and informative, incisive speeches from key experts in the field can result in new business contacts and exciting new business openings. Can you afford to miss such an opportunity?