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ARABAL 2012: A focus into the growth of Aluminium in the automotive sector

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The premier trade event of the UAE’s aluminium industry, the 16th Arab International Aluminium Conference (ARABAL 2012) – will be held from 20 to 22 November in Doha Qatar.  The conference will be held at the Grand Hyatt Doha, under the patronage of Ministry of Energy and Industry. Looking at the growing demand for automotive aluminium around the world, the conference plans to focus on the highly projected demand for aluminium in the transport sector.

The low LME price is one concern that is being discussed in every present conference or events happening around the aluminium industry. The prevailing financial, investment, economic and political activities along with the forces of supply and demand work together to bring the price down or pull it up. The surrounding challenges and changes in the aluminium industry, the amount of competition and the quality of production, ease of access to markets of demand, energy prices, exchange rates and the changing government are other factors influencing the aluminium price.  ARABAL aims to discuss the surrounding situations as well as the future prospects of the aluminium market so that a solution can be meted out to correct the present industry situation.  Rising demand for aluminium industry outputs means there is animated activities in transport, real estate, industry and other vital sectors. At present, it is the automotive sector that is posing a bright prospect for the aluminium industry because of the new CAFE standards in US and Europe.

The use of aluminum is increasing across all market segments and application types in the transport sector.  And the trend is expected to continue in the in future. Automotive aluminum is gaining preference in vehicle engineering as the emphasis is shifting towards manufacturing more eco-friendly, fuel-efficient, stylish and lightweight cars with anti-aging properties. Automaker’s effort to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emission in vehicle is expected to boost the demand for aluminium in the auto industry heavily by 2025.

The ARABAL organizers have noted the forthcoming developments in the transport sector and their impact on the aluminium industry. Especially, the automobile, bus, aircraft and ship manufacturing sectors are shifting their focus increasingly to the use of aluminium from metals like iron and steel which have been traditionally used in this sector. Car manufacturers like Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi are considering optimum use of aluminium in their cars for fuel economy and easy maintenance. ARABAL plans to highlight the growth prospective for aluminium and its impact on the global aluminium market to an audience comprising of leading aluminium producers.

Arabal will see a concentrated focus on the transport industry this year, as indicators have shown an increasing demand for industrial outputs in the transport sector in North America, particularly the USA”, the organizers said.

The new CAFE standards of the US government mentions that CO2 must get reduced to just over 100 grams per mile and the new regulations urges the automotive companies to reduce vehicle emissions, improve safety, and enhance fuel economy. The obligation to adhere to the new standards will indirectly shift the focus to aluminium.

The overall consumption of semi-manufactured aluminium is expected to reach 3.6m tonnes by 2016, according to recent forecasts, a significant increase over the 2.5 million tonnes reported in 2011. This means that an annual average growth rate of 7.4 percent is expected in the period from 2012 until 2016. That is good news for the aluminium producers who have been reeling under pressure due to low aluminum price and the economic slowdown as a whole.

Many aluminium producers in the USA and Europe are undergoing expansions to supply to the renewed demand by the automobile manufacturers.  In new car models by BMW and Mercedes Benz and Audi, 85 percent of the construction material is expected to be aluminium which will reduce the total weight of the cars. These new development indicates that demand for aluminium is expected to be stable, even if the production levels were reduced. The aerospace industry is expanding its contracts with the aluminium manufacturers for the supply of plates and chips and other aluminium related materials. Leading aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus and Boeing have reported a significant growth in demand for aluminium.

The Conference will focus on future of aluminium and manufacturing industries, market, technology and recycling.  Qatalum’s Communications Manager, Ibrahim J Fakhri, said, “The conference is diverse, rich, and scheduled to host representatives of leading companies from the region and across the globe operating in this vital sector.” Qatalum’s environment friendly smelter makes use of the latest state-of-the-art smelting technologies and has a production capacity of 585,000 tons of high-quality primary aluminium products annually, which will be attracting a great deal of attention from manufacturers attending the conference.
ARABAL is the only conference in the world attended by every single primary aluminium manufacturer from the Middle East. It is also the conference of choice for anyone interested in the Middle East aluminium industry. Therefore, it will serve as a big platform to highlight the growth possibility of aluminium industry in the transport sector.

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