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Auto industry driving aluminum demand


April 11, 2014
By Ross Marowits The Canadian Press

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The aluminum industry expects the automotive sector will generate the biggest wave of new demand since manufacturers started using the lightweight metal to make beverage cans.

Aluminum producers have faced a rough few years, with high inventories causing prices to crater.

But speakers at a Montreal conference for the industry say the longer-term outlook for aluminum is brighter, largely due to big changes in the transportation industry.

They say vehicles such as cars, trucks, buses and planes already consume about one-quarter of global aluminum production each year, but demand from the transportation sector is expected to grow by four to six per cent annually.

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The added demand will be spurred by new fuel efficiency standards in the United States and Ford’s decision to increase the use of aluminum in its F-150 pickup truck, the most popular vehicle sold in North America.

Representatives from Rio Tinto Alcan, Alcoa and the Alouette smelter said Friday they will press Quebec’s new Liberal government to lower electricity rates to make aluminum production in the province more globally competitive.