Top 10 Largest Aluminium Exporting and Importing Countries (2018)

The world’s top 10 largest aluminium exporting countries and importing countries are set to dominate the global aluminium trading market in 2018 on the heels of strong volume of aluminium products in both the supply and demand sections. The global aluminium market has had a steady growth over the recent years, as aluminium production, aluminium exports and aluminium consumption from around the world have all witnessed a substantial growth, mainly driven by the surge of the downstream industries, such as automotive, electrical applications, construction, and consumer products etc. 2018 expert projections say business opportunities for the world’s largest aluminium exporters and importers will continue to flourish, which makes it a crucial time to connect with the leading aluminium products manufacturers and suppliers in China, India, Bahrain, USA, and Germany.


The usage of aluminium is tremendous, thanks to the fact that aluminium is one of the lightest and most common metal elements in the world. With its many notable advantages, such as being light, strong, cheap to produce, electrically conductive, highly resistant and recyclable, aluminium is nowadays one of the most in-demand metal materials for making various of consumer and industrial products. Owning to its high demand in the global market, the global aluminium production is also on rise, totalling 63.4 million metric tonnes in 2017, representing an annual increase of nearly 9% from the previous year. China continues to lead as the world’s largest exporter of aluminium, accounting for more than half of the global aluminium output, although most of the aluminium produced in China are also consumed domestically by its booming downstream sectors.


Top 10 Largest Aluminium Exporting Countries


Rank Country 2016 Export Value (billion US$) Share in World Exports (%)
1 Canada 5.04 12.1
2 Russia 4.99 12
3 UAE 4.48 10.7
4 Norway 2.42 5.8
5 Australia 2.36 5.7
6 Netherlands 1.71 4.1
7 India 1.64 3.9
8 Malaysia 1.63 3.9
9 Iceland 1.25 3
10 Saudi Arabia 1.13 2.7


Source: ITC


The latest aluminium trading data shows that the global aluminium exports registered at US$41.7 billion in value, or equivalent of 202.5 million tons in volume in 2016, decreased by 6% from 2015’s figure. Ranked as the world’s third-largest aluminium producer, Canada is currently the largest aluminium exporting country in the world with over US$ 5 billion worth of aluminium exported in 2016, representing about 12.1% of the world’s total aluminium exports in that year. Most of Canadian produced aluminium were shipped to the USA, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, and Netherlands in 2016.


Apart from Canada, the rest of the world’s top 10 largest aluminium exporting countries include Russia, UAE, Norway, Australia, Netherlands, India, Malaysia, Iceland and Saudi Arabia.


Top 10 Largest Aluminium Importing Countries


Rank Country 2016 Import Value (billion US$) Share in World Imports (%)
1 USA 8.16 17.6
2 Germany 4.89 10.5
3 Japan 4.31 9.3
4 South Korea 2.86 6.2
5 Italy 2.28 4.9
6 Netherlands 2.03 4.4
7 Turkey 1.85 4
8 Mexico 1.64 3.5
9 France 1.14 2.5
10 Thailand 1.13 2.5


Source: ITC


When it comes to aluminium imports, the value of global aluminium imports totaled US$46.4 billion in 2016, while the USA is topping the chart as the world’s largest aluminium importing country. In 2016, the USA imported over US$ 8.16 billion worth, or equivalent of 3.79 million tons of primary aluminium from the global market, representing over 17.6% of the world’s total aluminium imports in that year. Over 56% of the USA’s aluminium imports were from Canada, then 8% from Russia, 7% from the UAE, 6% from China, and 23% from rest of the world in 2016.


Such high import value posed by the USA is mainly attributed to the significant aluminium consumption in the country. The USA is currently the world’s second-largest aluminium consumer behind China. The large scale of aluminium consumption is centered in the USA’s Midwest region, where most of the country’s industrial production takes place.  According to a recent report from USGS, the transportation and automotive industry accounted for an estimated 41% of domestic aluminium consumption in 2017; in descending order of aluminium consumption, the remainder was used in packaging industry (20%); construction industry (14%); electrical (8%); machinery (7%); consumer products (7%); and other (3%).


Following the USA, other world’s top aluminum imports by country include Germany, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Mexico, France and Thailand.


The 10 largest aluminium exporting countries and the 10 largest aluminium import countries are expected to continue flourishing going forward. Exports, production, and imports will hit new heights as the best companies continue to innovate. Which new country will make it onto the list the next time it is done? Let us know your prediction in the comments section.



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