In this special event series, ISRI News is in Chicago covering The Roundtables. The annual event attracts processors, brokers, traders and other recycling professionals from around the world.
“It’s been a challenging year for aluminum markets.” Chad Kripke, president of Kripke Enterprises, started the aluminum roundtable at the 2023 Roundtables by addressing the doom and gloom surrounding this market. “August was down nearly 40% compared to the March 2022 high. But the future looks bright.”
Greg Wittbecker, president of Wittsand Commodity Advisors supported the optimistic view and addressed the pessimism, “It’s easy to fall into a pessimistic view but the recycled materials industry is the best example of capital markets at work.” Wittbecker highlighted how recycled materials, especially aluminum, are key enablers of decarbonization due to low energy consumption, low capital intensity, low carbon intensity and price competitiveness.
“We’re in a down cycle but the future is bright,” said Beatriz Landa, vice president of Metal Procurement and Recycling at Novelis Corporation, echoing the positive outlook. Landa presented data showing growth of the aluminum cans market and the automotive market though the latter is a bit uncertain due to the pending United Auto Workers (UAW) strike.
“The mobility paradigm is in high gear…the electric revolution is upon us.” Abey Abraham, principal at Ducker Carlisle, presented on aluminum in the automotive industry with a specific focus on electric vehicles (EVs). Aluminum content in vehicles has grown, far exceeding 2022 forecast. The move to EVs will further cement these gains as they use more aluminum than standard internal combustion engine vehicles. “Multi-material use is the future of the vehicle and aluminum will continue to play a strong role in that.”
Images courtesy of ISRI.