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Golden decade for China’s aluminium exports

The 10 years since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China have represented a golden decade for the development of the country’s aluminium industry and market, as well as being its fastest period of internationalization. The development of foreign trade and foreign investment/co-operation with regard to aluminium products has been further accelerated and continuously improved. The growth rate of this development has exceeded that of production and domestic demand.

Chinese exports of aluminium and its products increased 70% from 4.965 million tons in 2012 to 8.447 million tons in 2021, with value soaring 86.2% from US$ 18.6 billion to US$ 34.7 billion. Since China joined the World Trade Organization 20 years ago, it has exported more than 110 million tons of aluminium products (including wheels) worth US$ 370 billion in foreign exchange, including around 75 million tons and US$ 280 billion of foreign exchange in the last 10 years alone. This has brought great prosperity to the industrial chain.

In 2021, China exported aluminium and its products to more than 200 countries and regions, covering every market in the world; the top five trading partners accounted for one-third of these exports, the top 10 some 50% and the top 30 around 80%.

In 2009, the USA surpassed South Korea as China’s largest export destination for aluminium products and maintained this position over the years to 2021. In the past 20 years, China has exported 10.87 million tons of aluminium and its products to the USA, accounting for 9.9% of the total exports, while the cumulative value of these US-bound shipments was US$ 44.5 billion.