Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) will expand into China by opening its first office in Shanghai to source raw materials and other supplies, the company said yesterday.
The new office will be run by EGA’s Chinese subsidiary, building on the strong ties already present, with EGA sourcing more than US$500 million of supplies from the Asian country over the past two years.
“China is already a substantial source of raw materials and supplies for EGA, and we expect the importance of China for our business to grow in the coming years,” said Abdulla Kalban, EGA’s managing director and chief executive.
China is the UAE’s second-largest trading partner and also the world’s largest bauxite importer and a major aluminium producer.
EGA has already been working to shore up its bauxite production, the material that is used in the making of alumina, the main ingredient in aluminium.
This includes the expansion of its mine and export facilities in Guinea, which hold more than a quarter of the world’s bauxite.
This will allow for more cost-effective larger shipments to distant markets, making Guinean bauxite more competitive.
Commercial bauxite operations are expected next year, but sample shipments have already been flowing into the market, including to China, at the end of last year.
Uday Patel, an aluminium markets manager for Wood Mackenzie, told The National last year that the growth of global demand for the metal would decline slightly to 3.2 per cent this year, from 3.5 per cent last year. However, China is expected to remain a key driver, with demand growing 4.8 per cent this year.
“China is half the global market. Whatever happens there dominates or overpowers factors at the margins,” Mr Patel said.”
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