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factors affecting aluminum pricing | kloeckner metals corporation

factors affecting aluminum pricing | kloeckner metals corporation

Prices on aluminum relate directly to supply and demand drivers. The main questions to ask are, how much aluminum can be produced and who is willing to buy it? Producers, traders, speculators, and industrial end-users will generally exchange aluminum at a price reflective of supply and demand. But, as youll see below, aluminum pricing is not so straight-forward. There are many factors affecting aluminum pricing to consider.

In the 1970s, aluminum became an exchange commodity. This means that aluminum is purchased and sold in an organized and regulated market via standardized commodity contracts. This legal framework ensures that sellers will deliver the commodity and buyers will accept its delivery. Today, these exchanges happen all around the world, including in the Commodity Exchange (COMEX), London Metal Exchange (LME), and the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM).

Demand for aluminum is generally high and its produced more than any other non-ferrous metal. This makes sense, given its such an effective material for vehicle parts, beverage cans, appliances, airplanes, structures, and much more, all combined with larger trends toward lighter, stronger material. But, aluminum also undergoes an energy-intensive production process, and many factors from processing to end product affect its price.

Economic conditions, political, and social situations play a major role in determining prices on aluminum by directly impacting supply and demand. Notably, this spans the entire aluminum process, from sourcing to production and distribution.

Aluminum is referred to as an energy-intensive base metal since it requires a significant amount of energy to produce. Because aluminum does not exist in a pure form it must be sourced from bauxite ore and transformed. First it must be chemically refined into alumina (aluminum oxide) and then smelted into aluminum through the HallHroult electrolytic reduction process. This impacts the overall price of aluminum because electricity is a variable subject to its own number of supply and demand factors.

The price of aluminum is strongly dependent on the price and availability of electricity. The U.S. Aluminum Trade Groups estimate that the cost of electricity accounts for 30% of the total price of aluminum. In China, electricity consumption is closer to 45% of the price of aluminum. The cost of electricity used to produce aluminum accounts for nearly 2% of energy production worldwide.

But why? On average, it takes 3 tons of bauxite to produce 1 ton of aluminum. This requires approximately 15,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. Compare this to the fact that the average home in the U.S. consumes 11,000 kWh per year. In April, 2020, approximately 92,000 metric tons of aluminum were produced domestically. That adds up to 1.38 million kWh for just one month of aluminum production.

When bauxite mines and aluminum mills experience openings, closings, or strikes, the supply of aluminum may be impacted. Both increases and decreases in supply will affect the price on aluminum. Typically, when there is supply surplus, prices are lower, and when supply is low, prices tend to be higher.

As noted above, aluminum goes into an impressive range of industries and applications. This includes the automotive, aerospace, construction, refrigeration, packaging and machinery industries. Technologic developments within any of these industries could impact prices on aluminum. For example, as green energy becomes a higher priority in transportation, its likely that demand for aluminum, as a strong but lightweight alternative to steel, increases.

Technological advancements within the production process could have a similar impact. The Aluminum Association notes that since being introduced, the primary production process has grown more efficient. It has improved by 20% over the past 20 years. A more efficient process would lower the percentage of energy related production costs that play such a huge role in the overall price on aluminum.

Countries are a source of demand when they build stockpiles, and a source of supply when they dispose of them. Events in any country could affect price. This is particularly relevant when one country accounts for a large share of production or consumption, which suggests that the country, or events in that country, could have a significant impact on the commodity price.

Global demand for aluminum is concentrated. The World Bureau of Metal Statistics reported that between 2002 and 2006 there were 22 producers of bauxite and 67 consumers. The top 3 producersAustralia, China, Braziland top 4 consumersChina, US, Japan, Germanyaccount for 50%.

Iron ore, copper, aluminum and nickel function as the lifeblood for global industrial production and construction. Shifts in supply and demand act as a weathervane, signaling change in the world economy. A number of changes could disrupt supply and demand. A few examples include: deflation of the U.S. dollar, economic recessions, rapid growth of the Chinese economy, and trade restrictions.

Economic growth becomes a factor when considering that as societies develop, the demand for metals depends on their current economic position. For instance, investment in the form of road, rail, public utility, and building infrastructure in a lesser developed country would increase demand at a greater percentage than that of a more developed country with adequate transportation, housing, and basic services.

One example, combining the effects of concentrated production and a shifting economic landscape, occurred during the mid-2000s. Aluminum production costs were increasing, the United States dollar was weakening, and the Chinese yuan was strengthening. Consequently, Chinese aluminum was relatively cheap.

International trade agreements set the rules for resource extraction. Governments then set trade policies which affect supply by regulating material flow. This could look like the implementation or suspension of taxes, penalties, and quotas which could either restrict or encourage flow. As described above, any eventslike changing the currency exchange rates between countriescould change the price. Additionally, armed conflicts and other geopolitical events could disrupt supply and demand and change prices.

Climate change disturbances disrupt transportation of product, and also disrupt energy required to produce new material. Exchange aluminum prices include both the energy costs for production as well as the transportation costs getting the metal to its destination.

So, what happens when a devastating hurricane causes flooding and power outages? Or, when particularly cold weather leads to more energy consumed, thus increasing production costs? Prices typically shift up in relation to these supply and demand factors.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collects mineral commodity information about production, consumption, stocks, trade, prices, and industry issues. This includes capacity, cost of production, material use, and any environmental issues. Then, the USGS uses that information to quantify consumption, price trends, and material flows.

In the case of COVID-19, global shutdowns, uncertainty, and changed consumer behavior led to a precipitous drop in demand. Prices and stocks for aluminum in April 2020 were nearly 35% less than just 2 years ago, and over 10% less than they were just a month prior. The USGSs April report describes how COVID-19 exposure led to a major U.S. plant closure, affecting market flow. Now, one year later, mills are unable to meet demand driven by a recovery in the automotive, packaging, and construction sectors. Aluminum prices are rising as a result.

Kloeckner Metals is a full-line aluminum supplier and service center. Kloeckner Metals boasts a national footprint with the latest fabrication and processing technologies and most innovative customer service solutions.Contact Us Now

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Large numbers of iron ore mines are in operation in Orissa, India to meet theinternal and export demand of iron ore for iron and steel making. During the process of mining relatively lower grade iron ore containing 56-58% Fe is also being generated and stockpiled separately due to less market and industrial value. The accumulation of these lower grade lumps and fines are increasing day by day due to increase in the regular production of iron ore for steel industries. Simple washing of these low grade ores by scrubbing could not upgrade the iron content as evidenced from some laboratory studies.

Pelletizing plant iron ore involves different types of equipment. The main areas or processes are the hub, ball, induration and handling. The concentrator is where the ore is ground to a fine particle size typically 80 % - 45 micron powder and other impurities separated by magnetic separation and flotation . The area of agglomeration is where the powder ore is mixed with water, a binder and rolled in rotating drums to create spherical balls . The area of induration fact can be broken down into three areas: grid, oven, cooler. The grate surface is where the pellets are dried and the curing process is started. Pellets at this stage are more stable and can be stored in the oven without braking. The oven is used to conduct heat in the pellets to force the reaction throughout the pellet. In an effort to recover all of the heat that is present in the pellet after the oven, the granules fall into a cooling device .

Hematite is weak magnetic associated ore. The Mohs hardness of the hematite is 6. The flow of the technics would be: 1st stage ore washing--storage--1st stage crushing--2nd stage crushing--3rd stage crushing--2nd stage ore washing--storage--feeding ore into rotary kiln--magnetizing roasting--ore cooling--storage--ore milling--magnetic separation--dehydrate--fine ore.

Hematite iron ore mobile crusher is developed based on the idea of design series iron ore crushing equipment , which expands the scope of coarse and fine grinding crushing.Our Mobile Crusher novel hematite iron idea is designed according to the design of the adaptation completely different iron crushing condition , eliminating obstacles due to location, environment, the basic configuration , thus providing simple, efficient equipment crushing at low cost. Our mobile crusher hematite iron ore crusher includes cone crusher series mobile , the series of mobile crusher crusher crusher series mobile crusher and crawler type mobile crusher jaw impact. This series Hematite iron ore crusher really supply simpler more efficient less expensive machines for customers.

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aluminium production process

aluminium production process

The pure form of aluminium does not naturally occur in nature, so remained largely unknown until as recently as 200 years ago. Creating aluminium using electricity was first developed in 1886 and is still used to this day.

The aluminium production process starts with the mining of bauxites, an aluminium rich mineral in in the form of aluminium hydroxide. About 90% of global bauxite supply is found in tropical areas.

Bauxite is crushed, dried and ground in special mills where it is mixed with a small amount of water. This process produces a thick paste that is collected in special containers and heated with steam to remove most of the silicon present in bauxites.

The ore is loaded into autoclaves and treated with limecaustic soda. Aluminium oxide appears in the resulting slurry while all the admixtures settle to the bottom as red mud.

The sodium aluminate solution is stirred in precipitators for several days, eventually pure alumina or Al2O3 settles at the bottom.

At an aluminium smelter, alumina is poured into special reduction cells with molten cryolite at 950. Electric currents are then induced in the mixture at 400 kA or above; this current breaks the bond between the aluminium and oxygen atoms resulting in liquid aluminium settling at the bottom of the reduction cell.

Primary aluminium is cast into ingots and shipped to customers or used in the production of aluminium alloys for various purposes.

The process where the aluminium is shaped to its required form. This process is used for making the vast majority of aluminium products from spectacle frames, telephone bodies, aeroplane fuselages or spaceship bodies.

The malleability of aluminium means it can be easily rolled into thin sheets. To that end, aluminium alloys are cast into rectangular beams up to 9 metres in length, these are then rolled into sheets from which aluminium foil and beverage cans are made, as well as parts of automobile bodies and a vast array of other products.

The process where the aluminium is shaped to its required form. This process is used for making the vast majority of aluminium products from spectacle frames, telephone bodies, aeroplane fuselages or spaceship bodies.

Unlike iron, aluminium is corrosion resistant so it can be remelted and reused an infinite number of times. The added benefit is that recycling aluminium requires only 5% of the energy needed to make the same amount of primary aluminium.

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