The success and importance of ARABAL, the weight of tariffs and price stagnation; outside the conferences foreseen during the Bahrain event, we recorded the comments of Mohamood Daylami, Secretary General of the Gulf Aluminium Council, regarding the current situation of the global aluminium market
by Alberto Pomari
The Gulf Aluminium Council (GAC) is a coordinating body that represents, promotes and protects the interests of the aluminium industry within the Gulf. The council’s main objectives are to provide a forum to develop strategies for common issues and concerns facing the aluminium industry in the region, and to share best practices so as to improve the efficiency of the industry. From this privileged observatory Mohamood Daylami, Secretary General, commented upon the ongoing dynamics of the global market. “Our headquarters are in Bahrain but our area of action is the entire Gulf, where we closely follow all of our associates: Alba in Bahrain, Ma’Aden in Saudi Arabia, EGA in Dubai, Sohar Aluminium in Oman and Qatalum in Qatar. The Arabal conference is one of the most important events in the world as regards the aluminium industry, one of the main reason for which companies take part in these events and are interested in this industrial area is the fact that many activities, both industrial and financial, are concentrated here”.
What are the hottest teams dealt with during this edition of Arabal?
The price of the metal is currently under pressure and many smelters are not performing as in the past. The persistence of this situation may lead to the reduction of investments and of efficiency, consequent to the drop in production capacity. During the conference we dealt with the current situation of the metal’s premiums and on the likely future of prices, of existing stocks, of the action of the LME and the situation of the production in China. A set of arguments which provide a general picture of the current situation and of future perspectives.
What is the main reason behind the current drop in prices on the global aluminium market?
The main concern today is the uncertainty of the market, fuelled by the trade contrast between the USA and China. This atmosphere is slowing down the market and the willingness to invest, with a great impact on such commodities as aluminium. Another reason for the current situation is the economic activity in the world, which is not performing as well as forecasts would have suggested some time ago. Growth in Europe slowed down, but even China and the United States are beginning to show signs of deceleration. The third reason for which the price of the metal is going down is the fact that nobody knows for sure whether global production and stocks are in surplus or in deficit, with a consequent stagnation of premiums and pries. But in any case the tariff war today actually has the most influence.
Even tariffs on the import of raw metal in Europe do not help industries and the upswing of the market.
More than one billion euro per year is channelled towards European smelters to protect their production. This damages the industry’s downstream and European companies. It should be considered that over 90% of the value of the industry in Europe is created by downstream activities, which are penalized by the application of tariffs on imports of raw metal. Besides, the continuous reduction of the primary aluminium production capacity in the EU shows that the tariff protection has no effect on the primary metal deficit in the region.
European manufacturers demand increasingly high quality, which may not always be obtained by shutting imports out. Even this is a focal point, by imposing tariffs on metal imports, cheaper and lower quality materials will enter preferentially, while the market requires increasingly high quality standards.
EGA Emirates Global Aluminium
EGA Emirates Global Aluminium is the largest “premium aluminium“ producer in the world. Ega is owned equally by Mubadala Development Company of Abu Dhabi and Investment Corporation of Dubai. EGA is an Aluminium conglomerate with interests in bauxite/alumina and primary Aluminium smelting; with plans for significant local growth and international expansion.
Sohar Aluminium was formed in 2004 to undertake a landmark Greenfield aluminium smelter project in the Sultanate of Oman and is jointly owned by Oman Oil Company, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC – TAQA and Rio Tinto. The smelter has an annual production capacity of 375,000 tonnes of high quality Aluminium.
The presence of Foundry Ecocer in the Gulf area is now consolidated. Antony Tropeano says he is satisfied: “Many companies are our customers and we are concluding important contracts in the Middle East”.
Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba)
Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba) is one of the leading primary Aluminium smelters in the world. Starting-out as a 120,000 metric tonne per annum smelter in 1971, Alba’s production for 2018 stood at plus-1 million metric tonnes of high-grade aluminium and Value-Added Products that include standard and T-ingots, extrusion billets, rolling slabs, Properzi ingots and molten aluminium.
Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali (AMA Group)
Since its beginnings in 1954 Ahmed Mansoor Al Aali (AMA Group) has evolved into one of the Bahrain’s premier business groups active in contracting, manufacturing, real estate and trading.
Founded in 1946, Wagstaff, a Spokane, Washington based manufacturer, provides machinery, technology, and service to enable aluminium producers to transform molten metal into solid shapes billets and slabs using “direct chill” casting.
LME London Metal Exchange
The LME London Metal Exchange Market Analyst staff, present at the event, to promote the interesting initiatives and services offered by the London-based organization.
ABB is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally.
Pyrotek® is a global engineering leader and innovator of performance-improving technical solutions, integrated systems design and consulting services for customers in the aluminium industry and in areas such as glass, acoustic insulation, and advanced materials. Pyrotek solutions in aluminium cover processes in the smelter, casthouse and foundry. The company has been in Gulf region for years, and currently is building a new manufacturing facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to serve and supply the rapidly growing aluminium smelting operations of the region. At 23rd Arabal, Pyrotek showing in particular specific protective equipment for foundry workers.
As an industrial engineering Group, Fives designs and supplies machines, process equipment and production lines for the world’s largest industrials including the aluminium, steel, glass, automotive, aerospace, logistics, cement and minerals, energy and sugar sectors.
Ma’aden was formed in 1997 to facilitate the development of Saudi Arabia’s mineral resources. In 2004 has founded Ma’aden’s Aluminium Project, which is a partnership with several affiliates of Ma’aden, such as Ma’aden’s Aluminium, Ma’aden Bauxite and Alumina and Ma’aden Rolling Mill. It contains a bauxite mine and a refinery in addition to one of the most advanced rolling mill plants in the world.
JUTEC specialised in the production of heat protection clothing and insulation, has built up a wealth of experience since 1987, the year in which Axel Jung founded the company in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
Gulf Markets International
Successfully established in the Kingdom of Bahrain in the seventies, Gulf Markets International has continued to deliver various products and services to its customers while assuring a sustainable growth over the time. The company rapidly adapted to the changing business environment within the GCC region and outside, expanding its business into representing foreign companies. GMI is active in the field of industrial supplies for more than 40 years, catering to various customers in the GCC region in different industrial applications such as Aluminium, Oil & Gas, Cement, Iron, Steel, Glass and others.
Egyptalum first started primary aluminium production in 1975. The annual production reached 320,000 metric ton which is characterized by the variety of mix product for primary aluminium, flat rolled products and extrusions.
CRU offers business intelligence on the global metals, aluminium but mining and fertilizer industries through market analysis, price assessments, consultancy and events.
Stein Kyartan (left), CEO, and Ronny Reitan, Cast Products Manager, of Storvik AS, a Norwegian company specialised in equipment and machinery for casting foundries.