China’s giant aluminum makers are pushing into the global automotive and aerospace markets, with industry sources expecting their presence to heat up competition and possibly spark a buying spree for Western metals companies.
China’s top aluminum companies are venturing into the more lucrative parts of the global value chain, on course to seize market share from the likes of Alcoa and Constellium, as they look to buy into foreign firms to boost their technical know-how and expand their reach.
The chief executive of Novelis Inc [NVLX.UL], the world’s largest maker of rolled aluminum products, said last week he expected competition with Chinese producers to be “very fierce” over the next five to 10 years in the high-value-added sectors of aerospace and engineering – which so far have been dominated by European and U.S. manufacturers.
“Certainly (Chinese aluminum makers) will be able to produce high quality products as well,” Steve Fisher told the Reuters Commodity Summit in Seoul.
Zhongwang USA LLC, backed by Chinese aluminum magnate Liu Zhongtian, said in late August it would buy high precision aluminum product maker Aleris Corp in a deal worth $2.3 billion, marking the biggest entry by a Chinese company into the U.S. aluminum industry.
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