(9 June 2021) The aluminum price reached the value of $2,534 per metric ton on May 7th of this year, the highest price since the two-year high in April 2018. The consensus forecast for 2021 from three leading sources (the IMF, the World Bank, and Innovation and Science Australia, an advisory board to the Australian government) is $2,072 per metric ton.

The rise in aluminum prices is a result of high demand in China and growing concerns that China's new climate policy, which focuses on greenhouse gas emissions reduction, could limit future supply of the metal. In 2020, China accounted for 56% of all refined aluminum production. Steadily increasing demand could see the global aluminum market tighten into a deficit.

The production of aluminum is a highly energy-intensive process, and despite energy efficiency improvements in China in recent decades, the process remains highly carbon-intensive: more than 80% of China's aluminum is produced using coal-fired power.

The leading sources' aluminum price forecasts are as follows:

  • According to the World Bank, the aluminum price will increase to $2,000 per metric ton (t) in 2021, a 17% rise from an average of $1,703/t in 2020, and experience moderate growth to $2,050/t in 2022. By 2035, the World Bank predicts aluminum prices will reach $2,400/t.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that aluminum prices will rise to $2,083/t in 2021 — a jump of 22% over the previous year, the largest predicted increase among the three forecasts — and to $2,126/t in 2022. The long-term IMF projection is that the price of aluminum will reach $2,276/t in 2026. 
  • Innovation and Science Australia (ISA) predicts that the price of aluminum will grow to $2,134/t in 2021 and to $2,160/t in 2022, the highest growth forecast by any of the three organizations.

For their forecasts, both World Bank and the IMF use London Metal Exchange (LME) settlement prices for high-grade unalloyed primary ingots of 99.7% purity.


Price forecasts for other critical commodities: 

gold | silver | copper | nickel | zinc | coal | natural gas | crude oil

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