It was a busy week in Nashville for the 2016 TMS conference and exhibition. Attendees seemed determined to make the most of their experience in the Music City. They had the unique opportunity to meet with nearly 3,800 attendees and 97 exhibitors and to view more than 3,000 technical talks and poster presentations on a broad spectrum of topics.
One of many interesting presentations on the aluminium industry came from Gregory Wittbecker, Vice President, Industry Analysis, Alcoa Global Primary Products.
He framed his talk on the state of the aluminum industry, at the Light Metals Division Luncheon, with the Mark Twain quip: “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
Wittbecker then examined the fundamentals of the aluminum market, saying that although overcapacity is a current challenge, “We continue to expect very strong global demand, with growth for aluminum projected at 6% in 2016. Demand is on track to double between 2010-2020.” Concurrently, the market continues to seek balance, with inventory days below historical averages and increased announced curtailments, particularly in North America. “We are facing significant headwinds,” Wittbecker said, “but the industry is fortunate in that it is easier to fix a supply issue than a demand problem.”