All Eyes are on China for signs of Aluminium industry recovery

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In 2009, China is hosting the year’s top aluminium industry event ALUMINIUM China in Shanghai in June, but this time amidst industry crisis. Over 10,000 visiting professionals are expected at this year’s gathering of which many are hoping to setup the business critical deals and see signs that  China is leading the way to recovery in both aluminium price and demand.

China is not immune to the industry wide crisis and the series of problems faced by the global Aluminium industry. China saw its Aluminium price drop steeply at the end of last year (over 20,000 RMB/ton in March dropped 45%, to near 11,000 RMB/ton in December, 2009) and only is seeing mild signs of rebound in the first quarter (average price in first 2 months of 2009 is 12,077 RMB/ton, a 9.8% rise from December 2008). However now with the rest of the world beginning to show serious signs of economic strains towards recession, China with its huge stimulus packages aimed at boosting infrastructure and real estate and the Chinese government’s ability to stock up on primary aluminium seems by far the best positioned in the world to reverse this downward trend and show signs of industry recovery as early as 3rd quarter 2009!

Unlike the downward momentum experienced by many companies, the key global aluminium industry event this year, ALUMINIUM CHINA 2009 is gaining much momentum during this period of crisis. The organiser of the show, Reed Exhibitions, is branding the show as the year’s largest industry event and posting record booth take up and double digit year on year growth in 2009 despite the extensive industry recession. The obvious question here is why hasn’t the industry problems and budget cuts caught up with the show?

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ALUMINIUM CHINA is an annual industry event which became Asia’s leading aluminium event by drawing hundreds of top industry companies and thousands of professionals from over 90 countries to Shanghai, facilitating new partnerships, and business deals. The success of this event rides on the China’s explosive economic growth in the past 5 years which also facilitated vast improvements in the production and trading capacity of quality Primary aluminium, semi finished products and associated technology and machinery. Amidst industry wide difficulties, therefore it is surprising that the 5th edition held between the 30th of June – 2nd of July is a bigger and more powerful event, for this we’ve interviewed Mr. Gary Liu, the Vice President of Reed Exhibitions China for some insights into the true drivers behind the show’s success.

“Many of our exhibitors are affected by the recession and are facing real issues of fiercer competition locally and losing out with the drop in demand internationally. This has resulted in a reduction in marketing spend for many of the companies, cutting back on their advertising and forcing them to go out actively looking for business leads. Yet it is precisely because of this, that many of our existing exhibitors and new potentials are turning to the show for a cost effective way of creating crucial contacts which generates new opportunities and sales leads. Put simply, in this time of crisis, what is more cost effective the at generating direct contacts with potential buyers and partners will be the platform of choice. And for aluminium industry, Reed Exhibitions’ renowned ALUMINIUM brand is the one that people turn to.”

With over 80% of the reserved space sold 4 months before the start of the show, Reed exhibitions is anticipating yet another record breaking event that will be participated by over 10,000 visiting professionals seeking to network with the providers and a better selection of quality products, special offers and partnerships. As the organiser of the global portfolio of ALUMINIUM events in Essen, Dubai, Mumbai and, Reed exhibitions is very confident in the future prospects of the industry. China will come through this recession with increasing needs for more cars, housing and infrastructure projects which will drive industry recovery. Not all companies will survive the recession but as global demand pickup, the ones that manage to fight its way through will be stronger, more competitive and more connected to the local and international markets than ever before.”

This sentiment is resonated by the country’s top aluminium semis producers and key exhibitors of the show. Mr. Chi Yi from Nanping Aluminium comments: “We cannot back off when the times are hard, so we’ll put a lot emphasis upon our presentation at ALUMINIUM  this year. We are hoping that by participating in this international event we can strengthen our position in anticipation of industry reshuffles, and also bring more confidence to the industry.”

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The General Manager of Jieru Heavy Industry Equipment, Mr. Sheng Chunlei shared his view: “we’ve always had very good business leads and meetings at Aluminium China and have full confidence that the show will help us this year, so we’ll continue to support it throughout 2009.”   Leading the participation this year will be some of the industries’ top companies like the Aluminium Corporation of China, Dubai Aluminium, Furukawa-Sky, Nanshan Aluminium, Aleris Asia Pacific, Conglin Aluminium, Nanping Aluminium, Novelis, Lopsking Aluminium, Silver100 Aluminium, SMS Metallurgy, Siemens VAI, Wagstaff, Pyrotek, Jieru Heavy Industry Equipment, FATA hunter, Achenbach, KAMPF, Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems, Elumatec and over 300 other exhibitors from 30 countries.

It  seems that either China’s quick recovery is well grounded or that the world is looking to China for signs of hope and opportunities, either way it is decisive that thousands of professionals from around the world will gather in China this year to explore new ways of doing business, working out special deals and partnerships with unprecedented selection of products and technology, and generally networking with each other to overcome the difficulties in the city of Shanghai, the city of promises.


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