MontrĂ©al—(Kitco News) After the financial crisis, emerging market growth has played a major role in driving global commodity demand with aluminum set to be a large contributor over the next ten years, said Barclays on Thursday.

Over the last decade, aluminum has slowly become a leading base metal used in infrastructure, consumer durables and other industrial uses. Emerging markets, such as China and India have come to rely on the use of aluminum and have ushered the metal in as a necessity; making it a staple in global commodity demand, Barclays said in a research report.

Aluminum is expected to continue to drive commodity demand for the next decade. It noted that aluminum leads the way with demand growth in emerging markets; potentially adding as much as an additional 37% of consumption by 2015 and a further 27% by 2020, Barclays said.

Barclays said that urbanization will play a large role in driving consumption per capita globally and of all the base metals, aluminum is slated to profit from its growth.

“Among base metals, we see aluminum as the commodity likely to benefit most from urbanization, rising living standards and fast growth in the emerging economies over the next decade,” Barclays said.

China is seen as the major driver in urbanization and aluminum demand is expected to keep climbing as the auto and packaging industry continue to grow, Barclays said. India and Brazil are also expected to drive aluminum consumption.

“Over the next five years we expect aluminum consumption per capita to double in China, to increase by 70% in India and by 25% in Brazil,” Barclays said.

These figures are expected to pop by 2020. “The average Chinese may be consuming as much as 160% more aluminum than he does today, the average Indian may have doubled his current consumption and the average Brazilian would have increased his by 40%,” Barclays said.

By Alex LĂ©tourneau of Kitco News

<<Back to more Kitco exclusive news