UAE's aluminium exports grew 102% in H1 2012

Dec 29, 2012 12:00 AM

United Arab Emirates’ total exports of aluminium and its products rose by 102% (US$ 1.5 billion) during the first half of 2012 in comparison with the same period in 2011, a study released today by the Ministry of Foreign Trade (MoFT) has revealed.

The growth is a continuation of previous increases of 56% and 42 % in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

The study also revealed that UAE exports of aluminium products have achieved a competitive global edge and were capable of reaching 124 countries - especially in Asia and Europe - due to their production according to international standards and their high purity, as well as their widespread and intensive use in the automobile and aircraft manufacturing industry in the European Union.

The study, which was conducted by MoFT economic advisor Dr Abdul Hamid Radwan under the supervision of Director of MoFT's Analysis and Trade Information Department Dr Mattar Ahmed, pointed out that the UAE came in first out of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries in terms of aluminium production and the accumulative investments and workforce it has in the sector.

It also revealed that the UAE came in the 34th position globally in its aluminium exports in 2011, advancing by seven places from the previous year.
It, however, stated that this does not reflect the country’s international standing in terms of aluminium production, where it stands among the top ten countries in the world, exporting around 92% of its domestic aluminium production.

India was the foremost receiving country of UAE aluminium exports in 2011, which were worth around USD 145 million (representing a 12.7% share of the UAE’s total exports of the product), followed by Iran with USD 115 million (10.1%), according to the study.

The study pointed out that the value of UAE imports of aluminium reached USD 1.2 billion in 2011, up by 3.4% from the year before. It also stated that an aluminium import saving was achieved (worth USD 371 million) as a result of a 56% registered increase in the exports of the product compared to a lower 3% increase in its imports, resulting in a 87% decrease from 2010 – 2011 in the trade deficit of the product to USD 54 million.

In terms of the competitiveness of UAE aluminium exports, the study reported an improvement in this regard in 2011 according to the findings of the ‘Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) index, which is based on the ‘Balassa’ index that is widely used around the world in calculating foreign trade indicators.

The study pointed out that the global aluminium manufacturing market is not a highly competitive one since global production is spread out among a limited number of global companies.

It added that the world’s aluminium production reached 43.99 million metric tonnes in 2011 with China, the largest global aluminium producer, owning a 40% stake of the world’s production of the product.

The study revealed that the value of international imports of aluminium and its products in 2011 was around USD 162.7 billion, achieving a growth of 17% from the previous year, with Germany (owning an 11.9% share of the world’s aluminium imports), the USA (10%) and China (6%), being the world’s foremost aluminium importers, respectively.

In terms of exports, the study revealed that global aluminium exports grew by 17% in 2011 with China and Germany being the world’s foremost exporters of the product owning an 11.3% share and 10.9% share of the world’s total aluminium exports during that year, respectively.

The UAE has two plants for aluminum production: Dubai Aluminium ‘Dubal’, one of the most important smelting installations in the gulf region.

The facility was established in 1979 with an annual 135 thousand ton production capacity, gradually increasing over the years through a series of upgrades and expansions to 1 million metric tons per year.

Around 92% of the company’s annual production is exported to global markets.

The second facility is Emirates Aluminium ‘Emal’, which was established in February 2007 and is expected, upon completion, to become the world’s largest single smelter complex for the production of primary aluminium with an annual production capacity of 1.325 million tonnes.

The facility was constructed over two phases, with the first phase now already operational with an annual production capacity of up to 750 thousand metric tonnes, while the second phase is scheduled for completion in December 2013 and will become fully operational at the onset of 2014.

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