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Production and consumption

First traded on LME: 1978
Current specification introduced: June 1987
World production: 44.6 million tonnes (2011)

Despite being the most abundant metal on earth (in its raw state of bauxite), aluminium used to be considered a precious metal. Only once the processes of extraction and smelting were made more efficient and electricity became cheaper and more readily available did aluminium become what it is today – the most extensively used non-ferrous metal in the world and the most liquid contract traded on the LME.

Aluminium is extremely light, pliable, has good electrical conductivity and is resistant to corrosion. It is used in a wide variety of products: cans, foils, window frames, car body panels,wiring and kitchen utensils.

World aluminium production 2011

Graph showing world aluminium production by region. 

 

Region%
Asia55%
Europe20%
America16%
Oceania5%
Africa4%

Source: WBMS www.world-bureau.com

Industry consumption 2011

Graph showing industry use by sector. 

 

Market Sector%
Transport25%
Construction25%
Packaging17%
Electrical12%
Machinery & equipment10%
Consumer durables6%
Other6%

Source: CRU www.crugroup.com