According to Roskill Information Services, global production of aluminium has grown by an average of 6.6% between 2002 and 2011 and by 18.4% in China. Consumption growth over the same period was 5.9%.

On the downside, 'inventories overhang the market', claims Roskill. The report says that the industry will be stretched by rising production costs and low prices throughout 2013.

Where raw materials are concerned, world production of bauxite and alumina is growing with Australia the largest bauxite producer accounting for almost 70Mt in 2011. Production in China, Indonesia and India has grown and Asia now accounts for a staggering 45% of global supply.

Alumina production increased from 80Mt to 96Mt between 2007 and 2011. Additional refinery capacity is planned over the next three years with another 14Mt coming on stream in China alone.

China, says Roskill, is now the largest producer of alumina, although poor quality bauxite domestically has meant that Chinese imports of aluminium's raw material have risen considerably over the past five years – mainly from Indonesia, although recent export curbs from the country, which are being phased in over the next two years, leaving the door open for other bauxite producers.

Bauxite & Alumina: Global industry markets and outlook, 8th Edition, 2012 is now available from Roskill Information Services.