Characteristics Of Aluminium
- Aluminium is the
third most abundant element in the Earth's crust. In nature however it
only exists in very stable combinations with other materials
(particularly as silicates and oxides) and it was not until 1808 that
its existence was first established.
- Aluminum is light.
Its density is only one third that of steel. Aluminum is resistant to
weather, common atmospheric gases and a wide range of liquids.
Aluminum has a high reflectivity, and therefore finds more decorative
uses. Aluminum has high elasticity, which is an advantage in
structures under shock loads.
- Aluminium keeps its
toughness down to very low temperatures, without becoming brittle like
carbon steels. It is easily worked and formed. Aluminium conducts
electricity and heat nearly as well as copper.
Supply and Demand
- Aluminium ore, most
commonly bauxite, is plentiful and occurs mainly in tropical and
sub-tropical areas - Africa, West Indies, South America and Australia.
There are also some deposits in Europe
- The leading
producing countries include the United States, Russia, Canada, the
European Union, China, Australia, Brazil, Norway, South Africa,
Venezuela, the Gulf States (Bahrain and United Arab Emirates), India
and New Zealand; together they represent more than 90 percent of the
world primary aluminium production.
- The largest
aluminium markets are North America, Europe and East Asia.
- The global
production of aluminium is about 27.7 and 28.9 million tons in 2003
and 2004 respectively.
- China, Russia,
Canada and United States produced about 6.1, 3.6, 2.64 and 2.5 million
tons of aluminium in year 2004 respectively.
- India is considered
the fifth largest producer of aluminium in the world.
- It is estimated at
about 3037 million tonnes for all categories of bauxite (proved,
probable and possible). With the present level of consumption of
aluminum, the identified reserves would have an estimated life of over
350 years. India's reserves are estimated to be 7.5 per cent of the
total deposits and installed capacity is about 3 per cent of the
- In terms of demand
and supply, the situation is not only self-sufficient, but it also has
export potential on a competitive basis. India's annual export of
aluminium is about 82,000 tonnes.
- India’s annual
consumption of Aluminum is around 6.18 lakh tons and is projected to
increase to 7.8 lakh tones by 2007.
- About a decade back,
the primary Indian aluminium producers were BALCO, NALCO, INDAL,
HINDALCO and MALCO. Of the five, two (BALCO and NALCO) were in the
public sector while the other three were in the private sector
- As a result of the
process of liberalization of trade in aluminium, India has emerged as
a net exporter of aluminium, on competitive terms. Government
monopoly, in terms of aluminium production, removal of price and
distribution control over aluminium, has been diluted in favour of
private sector. The ownership pattern in private sector has undergone changes.
With the takeover of INDAL by the HINDALCO, it has emerged as the
major producer of aluminium in the country.
World Aluminium Markets
- LME, TOCOM, SHFE and
NYMEX are the important international markets that provide direction
to the aluminium prices.