How APAC is Driving the Global Aluminum Plates and Sheet Coils Market

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One of the most popular flat-rolled products (FRPs), aluminum plates and sheet coils are majorly used in pharmaceutical, consumer packaging, and automobiles industries. Not only are aluminum products cost effective and efficient, but they are sustainable as well. Being easily recyclable they do not emit harmful gases during the recycling process. Also as these products can easily withstand the extremities in temperature, they are used for cooking and refrigeration purposes. It is due to its immense usability that analysts at Technavio predict the global market for aluminum plates and sheet coils market to grow steadily in the next five years; recording a CAGR of more than 3% by 2020.

Drivers of aluminum plates and sheet coils market in APAC:

Growing demand for aluminum cans

When it comes to beverages, aluminum cans are regarded as the most sustainable and recyclable cans; which is why each year there is a rise in its demands. According to market analysts, on an average, a can contains approximately 70% of recycled aluminum. Plastic and glass containers, on the other hand, contain just one-third of the recycled content when compared to aluminum cans. Thus, use of aluminum cans in a positive step towards bringing down the carbon footprint on the earth.

Apart from being easy to carry and store, aluminum cans also help save energy as it can be easily chilled or heated – which further explains its increased use as containers for beverages and other food items.

Replacement of steel by aluminum

Another major driver of the aluminum plates and sheet coils market in APAC is the trend towards replacing steel with aluminum. Automobile manufacturers are gradually replacing ferrous materials like iron or steel with non-ferrous materials such as aluminum and magnesium. This is mainly because aluminum is not only highly conductive but is also lightweight and resistant to corrosion. This shift from steel components to aluminum components is mainly evident in light vehicles segment.

Growing environmental concerns

Growing environmental concerns have called for increased use of sustainable and easily recyclable products. In this context, the use of aluminum sheets become even more important; as it is one of the rare metals which can not only be easily recycled but also does not lose its properties in the process. Recently aluminum has also emerged as the most preferred metal in the construction industry too. The trend towards green construction has forced the construction industry to look for viable and recyclable construction materials. Moreover, aluminum due to its environment-friendly properties has emerged as the most sustainable construction material. In fact, construction projects that employ aluminum qualify for green building status under the LEED standards.

Studies show that in between 1990-2015, the greenhouse emissions from aluminum recycling has reduced two-fold and is further expected to reduce by 50% by 2020; making aluminum one of the most sustainable metals.

APAC holds the highest share of the global aluminum plates market followed by the Americas and Europe. The market in APAC is not only the largest but also one of the fastest growing ones, with China being the largest producer of aluminum plates and sheet coils in 2015, followed by Japan and Taiwan. China is also the largest exporter of aluminum plates and sheet coils at the global level. As the country is working towards balancing its internal market by offering value-added tax rebates for the export of semi-fabricated and value-added products, it is expected that the market for aluminum sheets and plates will grow significantly in the forthcoming years.

In the case of Japan, it is the impact of ‘abenomics’ – different policies to encourage private investments – that has increased the demand for aluminum plates and sheet coils. Moreover, as the value of Yen declines, aluminum exports from Japan is sure to rise. India, on the other hand, is all geared to witness an increase in import volume of aluminum sheet coils due to high demand from the packaging segment. By volume, aluminum plates and sheet coils market in APAC was above 8 million metric tons in 2015. As the nations in Asia are growing at a steady pace, the demand for aluminum will increase rapidly at a rate aligned with the GDP growth of approximately 5%.

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