Unwrought aluminum exports by country totaled US$53 billion in 2019, up by 7.5% for all aluminum-shipping nations over the five-year period starting in 2015. Year over year, the value of exported aluminum depreciated by -10.6% from 2018 to 2019.
Spelled aluminium by British writers, aluminum is the world’s most widely used non-iron and non-steel metal and is the basic ingredient for a wide range of recyclable products. The latter includes beverage cans, construction materials and transport vehicles. Silvery-white in color, pure aluminum is non-magnetic and is also notable for its low density, relatively light weight and resistance to corrosion.
Among continents, European countries sold the highest dollar worth of exported aluminum during 2019 with shipments valued at $21.2 billion or 40% of the global total. In second place were Asian exporters at 35.8% while 12.1% of worldwide aluminum shipments originated from North America. Smaller percentages came from Oceania (6.5%) led by Australia and New Zealand, Africa (4.6%) then Latin America (1.1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
For research purposes, the 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for raw aluminum is 7601.
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of aluminum during 2019.
- Canada: US$5.3 billion (10.1% of total aluminum exports)
- Netherlands: $5.12 billion (9.7%)
- United Arab Emirates: $5.11 billion (9.7%)
- Russia: $4.6 billion (8.8%)
- India: $3.8 billion (7.2%)
- Norway: $2.8 billion (5.3%)
- Australia: $2.78 billion (5.2%)
- Malaysia: $2 billion (3.8%)
- Bahrain: $1.9 billion (3.6%)
- Iceland: $1.4 billion (2.7%)
- Qatar: $1.3 billion (2.4%)
- China: $1.1 billion (2.1%)
- United States: $1.05 billion (2%)
- South Africa: $1.01 billion (1.9%)
- Saudi Arabia: $967.8 million (1.8%)
The listed 15 countries shipped 76.3% of global aluminum exported in 2019 by value.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing aluminum exporters since 2015 were: Bahrain (up 1,147%), India (up 150.8%), Malaysia (up 107.6%) and Netherlands (up 20.9%).
Those countries that posted declines in their exported aluminum sales were led by: Saudi Arabia (down -26.8%), Qatar (down -26.7%), Russia (down -21.7%), United States (down -8.1%) and China (down -6.4%).
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for aluminum during 2019. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported aluminum and its import purchases for that same commodity.
- United Arab Emirates: US$5.1 billion (net export surplus up 10.9% since 2015)
- Canada: $5 billion (up 2.2%)
- Russia: $4.6 billion (down -21.8%)
- India: $3.3 billion (up 344.9%)
- Australia: $2.7 billion (down -5.8%)
- Norway: $2.4 billion (up 3.9%)
- Bahrain: $1.9 billion (up 1,730%)
- Iceland: $1.4 billion (down -6.7%)
- Qatar: $1.3 billion (down -26.6%)
- South Africa: $918.7 million (up 13.9%)
- Mozambique: $887.9 million (reversing a -$326.5 million deficit)
- Saudi Arabia: $765.1 million (down -36.8%)
- New Zealand: $642.1 million (up 8.4%)
- China: $580.5 million (down -18.8%)
- Netherlands: $443.7 million (reversing a -$363.5 million deficit)
Overtaking Canada in 2018, the United Arab Emirates has the highest surplus in the international trade of aluminum. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms the strong UAE global competitive advantage for this specific product category.
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for aluminum during 2019. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported aluminum purchases and its exports for that same commodity.
- United States: -US$7.9 billion (net export deficit up 27.8% since 2015)
- Japan: -$4.7 billion (down -7.6%)
- Germany: -$4.1 billion (down -9.9%)
- South Korea: -$2.5 billion (down -13.1%)
- Turkey: -$2 billion (down -8.9%)
- Mexico: -$1.9 billion (up 5.3%)
- Italy: -$1.8 billion (up 13.7%)
- Thailand: -$1.3 billion (up 26.9%)
- Taiwan: -$1.03 billion (down -7.1%)
- Poland: -$1.02 billion (up 84.7%)
- Spain: -$928.9 million (up 687.5%)
- Vietnam: -$631.2 million (up 4.8%)
- Austria: -$614.3 million (up 40.2%)
- France: -$611.1 million (up 0.6%)
- Brazil: -$518.7 million (up 210.9%)
United States incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of aluminum in 2019. America’s negative trade balance for aluminum was roughly a quarter higher in 2019 than the -$6.2 billion in red ink five years earlier in 2015.
These negative cashflows highlight America’s competitive disadvantage for this specific product category and conversely signals opportunities for aluminum-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand.
Aluminum Exporting Companies
Below are global aluminum-processing conglomerates that represent established players engaged in the international trade of aluminum. The home country for each selected aluminum producer or rolling company is shown within parenthesis.
- Alcoa (United States)
- Alumina Limited (Australia)
- Chalco (China)
- Emirates Global Aluminium (United Arab Emirates)
- Hindalco Industries (India)
- Norsk Hydro ASA (Norway)
- United Company RUSAL (Russia)