Global supplies of bauxite, the mineral for making aluminium, have been unscathed by the Covid pandemic and are expected to grow by 3.3% in value annually over the next seven years, says a report by Grandview Research.
The global bauxite market was valued at $9.9 billion last year. China is the largest producer of bauxite, but a clampdown on illegal mining in the Shanxi region is expected to restrict local supplies.
Major suppliers such as Guinea, Australia and Brazil are, therefore, vying to push sales of the mineral into China, which is also the world’s largest aluminium producer.
“China’s tightened bauxite supply owing to stricter mining is expected to drive high influx of bauxite imports into the country,” the report said.
However, weak demand conditions from downstream sectors such as automotive and transportation “is likely to push the market to a very high surplus.”
China produced around 58% of the world’s aluminium last year and is expected to maintain its dominance despite the Covid outbreak, which originated in the country.
Combined with production of aluminium in Australia and India, the Asia-Pacific region has an overwhelming share of the metal that has one of the widest applications ranging from automotive components and aircraft to beverage cans and construction material.