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Factors that Influence the Price of Aluminum
Posted: 2015-09-03 04:19:37  Hits: 2553
This article introduces factors that influence the price of aluminum in detail. 

1. The supply of alumina. Alumina takes up 28%—34% cost in aluminum production. The international aluminum market is highly concentrated, and most of alumina are sold through long-term contracts, thus there is little alumina available for spot market. Take China as an example, before 1997, China didn’t have the long-term contract and the alumina is mainly purchased from the international spot market. In recent years, the industry of electrolytic aluminum is enlarged, which leads to the increasing demand for alumina. Currently, about two-thirds of alumina needs to buy from the spot market. Chinese large purchase of alumina in the international market is directly contributed to the sharp rise of its price. According to statistics, in 2004, China has imported 5.87 million tons of alumina, an increase of 4.8%, compared with the same period of last year. The average import price is 340$ but the cost in lower than 120$. Through simple calculation we can find that China gave the foreign alumina suppliers more than one billion RMB in 2004. The price of alumina is increasing and leads to the increasing production cost for electrolytic aluminum industry, some companies have faced the economic loss. 
 
2. The impact of demand and supply. The demand and supply has direct influence on the market. When the demand and supply is in a balanced situation, the price of good may keep a relatively steady level, however, when the demand and supply is unbalanced, the price pf goods will fluctuate seriously. In the market of aluminum, investors may focus on an index that can represent the demand and supply, it is stock. The stock of aluminum has two categories: inventory and non-inventory. The inventory is also called visible inventory, and is a periodical datum from the fair of spot market which indicates the stock of aluminum. The non-inventory is the total amount of aluminum that wholesalers, traders and consumers have in the world. These data don’t have the professional agency to count and publish; it is also called the “invisible inventory”.
 
3. The impact of electricity price. The electrolytic aluminum industry needs a large quantity of electricity. Currently, at home and abroad, the average consumption for electricity has been controlled under 15,000 kwh / t for producing aluminum per ton. The Western experience shows that when the cost of electricity takes up 30% in the total cost of aluminum, it will be considered as the dangerous production.
 
4. The impact of the economic situation. Aluminum has become an important non-ferrous metal, particularly in developed countries and regions; consumption of aluminum has been highly related with economic development. When the economy has a rapid development in a certain country or region, the consumption of aluminum will increase at the same time. Similarly, when the economy is in recession, the consumption of aluminum will decrease, which will causes the fluctuation of its price. In addition, the fluctuated price of some kinds of metal which is related to aluminum, and the change of the industrial policy of different countries will also influence the price of aluminum.
 
5. The impact of import and export tariffs and international exchange rate. Generally, people use US dollars to price and settle the aluminum in international trade; the dollar's trend has an obvious influence on the price of aluminum. The tariffs on aluminum have a particularly distinct impact on China.
 
6. The impact of improving technique. The application of computer technology in the electrolytic aluminum industry led to the establishment of related mathematical model and the study of physical field in its process. These make the design of electro bath becomes more reasonable and the increment of its capacity.