Production and demand

The demand for aluminium is increasing year by year. Many applications and developments require a material that is lightweight but nevertheless strong – requirements that aluminium can fulfil optimally. In addition, it is an extremely versatile material.

Production and demand for raw aluminium

In Germany, about 1,290,000 tonnes of raw aluminium were produced in 2018. Production was thus 1.7 per cent lower than the previous year’s level. It comprised 528,900 tonnes of primary aluminium and 761,700 tonnes of recycled aluminium or remelt aluminium. Compared with the previous year, the production of primary aluminium fell 3.9 per cent, while that of recycled aluminium showed the same level as in the year before.

Shaped aluminium castings

Shape casting is used to produce finished products and various casting processes are used (sand, pressure die or chill casting) depending on the product, the size of the production series and the dimensional accuracy required. The car industry is the most important customer group for shape-casting foundries. The production of shaped aluminium castings (pressure die, chill and sand castings) in 2018 totalled 1,020,000 tonnes. A year earlier, in 2017, 1,045,100 tonnes of shaped aluminium castings were produced. This represents a fall in production in 2018 of about 2.4 per cent.

Production of shaped aluminium castings

In tonnes 2017 2018
Total 1,045,100 1,020,000
Die-casting 611,800 616.700
Chill casting 325,700 300,300
Sand casting 98,500 94,300
Other casting processes 9,100 8,700

Semi-finished aluminium products

Production of semi-finished products in Germany in 2018 totalled 2,46 million tonnes. This represents a sideways motion year-on-year. The portfolio of products are rolled products, extruded products, wires and forged parts. Semi-finished products is the most important section of the German aluminium industry in quantitive matters.

1,854,900 tonnes of rolled products were produced in Germany in 2018. This is a small decrease of only 0.3 % year-on-year. In addition, some 579,000 tonnes of extrusions were also produced in Germany in 2018 and this was about one per cent less than the previous year. The production of technical aluminium wires developed well and managed to increase 6.5 per cent to 19,700 tonnes.

Production von semi-finished aluminium

In tonnes 2017 2018
Total 2,467,400 2,459,500
Rolled products 1,861,100 1,854,900
Rod and bar 46,800 51,600
Profiles 527,300 518,200
Tube 9,600 9,200
Wire 18,500 19,700
Open-die and drop forgings N/A N/A
Conductor material 4,100 5,900

Aluminium converting

Packaging for foodstuffs, medication and body-care products is subjected to the highest possible demands. Aluminium is a flexible, multifunctional and lightweight packaging material here. Aluminium packaging is also a material par excellence for the circular economy and can be recycled without any losses after use to conserve resources. Aluminium converting includes the production of aluminium foil (2018: 262,900 tonnes), the manufacture of tubes, cans and aerosol cans (2018: 42,200 tonnes) and the production of aluminium powder (2018: 35,000 tonnes).

Aluminium converting

In tonnes 2017 2018
Total 346,500 340,100
Foil and thin strip 268,900 262,000
Tubes, cans, aerosol cans 44,600 42,200
Aluminium powder 33,000 35,000


Dr. Andreas Postler

Head of Economics and Trade Policy

Phone: +49 211 4796-118