India's Stainless, Nickel and Aluminum Outlook for Summer 2012

Where Indian Stainless and Nickel Markets Are Headed

Major producers of nickel are Russia, Australia, Canada, New Caledonia and Indonesia, Cuba, Colombia, China and Brazil, which represent over 65 percent of total world production.

Global primary nickel consumption is about 1 million tons. Yet India does not have any history related to the producing metal nickel, and the nickel market in India is totally import-dependent.

At present, India imports around 45,000 to 50,000 tons of nickel. Currently, import duty on nickel is 15 percent, but with growth in the stainless steel sector, nickel import demand is expected to increase in the coming years.

Because the Indian rupee has shown very poor performance against US dollar, since the last month or so Indian importers have had to pay higher prices to import the nickel that will increase the prices of related metals.

Aluminum Industry Forecast in India

The aluminum industry on the Indian subcontinent is a highly concentrated sector with five prominent players catering to the majority of the country’s aluminum production. The country has been witnessing growing demand for aluminum in the domestic market, accounting for an enviable growth in the sector.

The forecast for 2012 global production of aluminum is 42–45 million tons, driven by rising Chinese output.

Both market and non-market forces have equally affected the aluminum industry for almost two decades. It is anticipated that the value of the global aluminum market in 2012 will reach $112.3 billion.

The per-capita consumption of aluminum metal in India is less than 1 kilogram, whereas it’s estimated to be 25 to 30 kilograms in the US and Europe, 15 kilograms in Japan, 10 kilograms in Taiwan and 3 kilograms in China.

Despite the lower per-capita demand for the metal, there is heavy demand for aluminum in the domestic market on account of the metal being used in large quantities across a number of industries.

India has the credit of being the fifth largest producer of aluminum in the world. The country has a capacity to produce more than 2.7 million tons of aluminum per year, making up about 5 percent of total aluminum production around the globe. India boasts of massive bauxite reserves of about 3 billion tons. The country has been witnessing phenomenal growth in aluminum production over the past ten years.

Check out India’s steel market outlook for the summer here.

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