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  • Top 5 Downstream Aluminium Companies in the World

  • DETAIL

    Overcapacity, falling LME prices, and escalating cost of production in the non-oil producing countries have been the bane for global aluminium industry for over a year now. If that weren’t enough, a number of old capacity restarts and new additions in China have added another spoiler. Markets that once dominated the primary aluminium space have been feeling the heat like never before resulting in mounting losses and resultant capacity cuts and closures. Whether it is in the US or in countries like India, surviving solely on primary aluminium manufacturing is becoming increasingly difficult today. No wonder, companies are focusing on value-addition and downstream manufacturing to leverage upon the improving aluminium demand that seems to be the only silver lining in the otherwise dwindling industry scenario.

    Here we present the Top Five Downstream Aluminium Companies in the World which are currently playing key roles in making this paradigm shift happen:

    (Please note the ranking is not based on market share or capitalization since the companies specialize in different sub-sectors of the downstream vertical, namely- casting, extrusions, and flat rolled products, and alloyed or non-alloyed aluminium products)

    1.Novelis:

    Novelis, a Hindalco Industries Limited subsidiary, is an industry leader in rolled aluminium production and aluminium recycling. The company collaborates with leading brands in the packaging, automotive, architectural and other high-end specialty products markets to deliver high-quality, innovative and sustainable aluminium sheet solutions that the marketplace demands. It is the largest single producer of aluminium flat rolled products for the beverage can and automotive industries globally.

    In 2016, the company achieved record shipment levels and grew its automotive portfolio to 15% from 7% three years ago.

    Latest projects: Novelis commissioned its third state-of-the-art automotive finishing line in Oswego, N.Y. in May this year. It is currently supplying aluminium solutions for the all-new Jaguar XFL, featuring a body-in-white made of 75 per cent aluminium, the highest aluminium content achieved by an automaker to date in the Chinese automotive marketplace.

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    2. China Zhongwang Holdings Limited:

    China Zhongwang Holdings Limited, together with its subsidiaries, is the second largest industrial aluminium extrusion product developer and manufacturer in the world and the largest in Asia. The Group has been primarily focusing on the light-weight development in the transportation, machinery and equipment and electric power engineering sectors through the provision of quality processed aluminium products.

    Latest projects: Group subsidiary Tianjin Zhongwang succeeded in rolling out 7055 aerospace aluminium plates in different specifications in early 2016- a rare success in China where there are difficulties in casting and rolling of 7055 alloy due to its alloying element content, segregation tendency and internal stress. The company has also succeeded in stretching an ultra-large aluminium alloy plate of 4300mm in width, which is currently the widest of its type manufactured in China.

    China Zhongwang has entered into a definitive agreement with Aleris regarding a potential takeover of the latter. On completion, the deal which is right now subject to multiple approvals, is expected to create a behemoth in the global downstream aluminium industry.

    Aleris

    Aleris - a global leader in the manufacture and sale of aluminium rolled products - serves a variety of end-use industries, including aerospace, automotive, defence, building and construction, transportation, packaging, and consumer goods. The current aggregate value of the company amounts to $2.33 billion.

    Latest Projects: Aleris has signed a new multi-year contract with Airbus to supply aluminium plate and sheet to be used in the production of all Airbus aircraft programs. The contract starts in 2017 and also includes the supply of technically advanced wing skin material.

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    3.Constellium:

    A global leader in aluminium transformation, Constellium designs and manufactures innovative and high value-added aluminium products and components for a broad range of applications dedicated primarily to aerospace, automotive and packaging markets. In 2015, the company recorded total sales of Euro 5,153 million. 

    Latest projects: Constellium recently opened a new state-of-the-art finishing line at its plant in Neuf-Brisach, France, for a total €180 million investment. The new 240m (787-foot) long line with a production capacity of 100,000 tonnes is designed to meet the growing demand for aluminium automotive body sheet.

    The company has also launched a unique 3D module showcasing its innovative aluminium solutions for the automotive industry. The first-of-its-kind application facilitates OEMs and businesses to browse through the wide array of Constellium aluminium product offerings.

    4.Kaiser Aluminum:

    Kaiser Aluminum is a leading producer of fabricated aluminium products for aerospace/high strength, general engineering, automotive and custom industrial applications. Its expansive aluminium product offering includes plate, sheet, extrusions, rod, bar, tube, forge stock, and wire.

    The company ships more than 500 million pounds of downstream aluminium products annually. In 2015, Kaiser’s value-added revenue hit a record $790 million, an eight-percent YoY increase. The results were driven largely by higher heat treat plate volume and continued growth in automotive extrusions, including the significant ramp-up in its Ford F-150 programme.

    5. Arconic Inc

    Alcoa’s much awaited value-added division, Arconic made an official debut on November 2, 2016, as a global leader in precision engineering, multi-materials innovation, and advanced manufacturing.

    Already a strong entity in the advanced technology domain, Arconic is considered as having more growth potential than its primary aluminium counterpart Alcoa, because of the growing demand from aircraft makers for products made from hi-tech aluminium and magnesium alloys.

    In 2015, the erstwhile SBUs that comprise today's Arconic generated around $12.5 billion revenues. Of this, approximately 65 per cent came from aerospace and automotive sectors, while the rest 35 per cent was attributed by markets comprising specialty and industrial products, and building and construction.

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