By Tom Arnold
New report highlights growing importance of region's production industry.
The Middle East North Africa (Mena) region will account for around 19 percent of global aluminium production capacity by 2013-14, according to a report published on Monday on the growing importance of the region within the industry.
Production capacity in the region will rise to 10.8 million tonnes per year provided all the expansion projects at existing smelters and greenfield projects planned beyond 2010 proceed.
By 2010, assuming all planned projects are completed on time, aluminium production capacity will be 4.3 million tonnes a year.
In 2008, it produced 2.6 million tonnes of primary aluminium, accounting for around 6.5 percent of world market share, according to the report by MEED Insight.
It said GCC producers would continue to account for a major part of the Mena region’s aluminium production, with 4.4 million of the 6.5 million tonnes of potential aluminium capacity planned beyond 2010 to be built in the Gulf.
By 2020, the GCC alone will produce around 10 million tonnes per year of aluminium, accounting for 20 percent of global market share.
However, the region’s downstream aluminium industry was underdeveloped, said the report, with the Middle East consuming only 16 percent of the domestically produced primary aluminium, with the remaining 84 percent exported.
With such a high export rate, key to the region’s industry in the short term was how quickly the consumer market could absorb the accumulated aluminium inventories once global demand recovered.