Aluminium industry beats global meltdown
Manama, September 22, 2010
The aluminium industry has survived the global economic downturn and can look forward to a future of growth, Alba chairman Mahmood Al Kooheji told delegates at the 25th International Aluminium Conference.
'Last year when you gathered in Dusseldorf, our industry was in an unstable state - prices were down, stocks were high, smelters were either closing or lowering their production and the demand for aluminium was low since two of our biggest consumers, the automotive and real estate sectors, were going through a slump.'
'We are now approaching the end of 2010, and the outlook for the industry has altered considerably,' he said.
'While there still exists a degree of fluctuations and uncertainty in the prices, it can be fairly said that the mood is neither pessimistic nor hopeless. It doesn't seem like the end of the road for the industry any more.
'We have survived. We have thrived. We have succeeded against all odds,' he added.
'We look forward with greater optimism to a future where the aluminium industry will continue to remain a strong force in the economy of our various countries, a powerful contributor to the growth of various sectors and a major influencer in the profits and productivity charts of most organisations gathered here,' he said.
'There still remains a huge demand for aluminium all over the world, and with global aluminium consumption expected to register a consistent annual growth of 8.5 per cent right up to 2013, it is clear that there will be room for more players to satisfy a growing appetite for aluminium.
'Even through the peak of the economic crisis, the Middle East aluminium market has remained incredibly resilient and not suffered the pain that its peers in other markets had to go through.
'Thanks to competitive availability of energy, state-of-the-art technology, skilled workforce, diversified customer base and diversity in product portfolio, smelters in the region have been able to strengthen their reputation for being competitive suppliers.
'Among the countries in the GCC, Bahrain holds a unique distinction since it was here that the first aluminium smelter was established nearly 40 years ago, marking the start of an industrial diversification programme not only in Bahrain but throughout the GCC,' he added.
'Bahrain's leadership recognised aluminium's potential as an income generator, and for being the 'metal of the future'.
'It is this vision that has contributed to Alba's success story as the producer of high-grade aluminium products that satisfy the most stringent requirements of quality customers from all over the world.
'Alba continues to be a leader and, at 870,000 tonnes per annum, accounts for 2 per cent of total world aluminium production, which corresponds to 35 per cent of the whole Middle East output put together,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service